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Railhub Archive
1996-06-06 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Final BR freight business to be sold

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Department of Transport

Final BR freight business to be sold

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6 June 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 177

Plans to privatise Railfreight Distribution - British Rails last
remaining freight business - were announced today, at the 1996
Franco-British Transport Forum, by John Watts, Minister for Railways
and Roads.

Railfreight Distribution, which operates around 160 international
freight trains a week through the Channel Tunnel, carrying
containers, swap body traffic, cars and conventional freight, will be
sold as soon as practicable. The company employs around 1,500 people
and had a turnover in 1994/95 of some #60 million.

Welcoming the plans, Mr Watts said:

This Government wants to see a revival of rail freight in Britain.
With over 90% of the rail freight operations now in private hands we
can already see the commercial powerhouse of privatisation hauling
the rail freight market free of state control. Today I am pleased to
announce that I have asked British Rail to draw up a detailed
timetable for the sale of Railfreight Distribution.

Stressing the opportunities privatisation offers the international
freight market, Mr Watts added:

The Channel Tunnel offers great opportunities for long term
expansion into profitable long distance freight, and I am keen to see
the benefits privatisation brings on international rail routes as
well as domestic services. Railfreight Distribution is currently
heavily loss making but privatisation will enable the business to be
put onto a sound footing so that the growth potential of
international freight services can be exploited on a commercial

For many decades the railways have been in decline. We want to see
rail check that decline and reverse its long term loss of traffic.
Clear of the dead hand of state control freight operators are free to
innovate and respond to their customers needs. Thats why getting our
rail industry back into the private sector remains at the heart of
the Governments strategy to revitalise Britains railways.

Notes to editors

1. Any party wishing to register an interest in the sale of
Railfreight Distribution should contact Mr Jeremy Moodey, Assistant
Director, Close Brothers Corporate Finance Ltd, c/o Hill Samuel Bank,
100 Wood Street, London EC2P 2AJ Tel: 0171 920 2564, Fax: 0171 920

2. The Board is being advised on the sale by Close Brothers
Corporate Finance Ltd and the Departments financial advisors are
KPMG Corporate Finance.

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-06-06 DoT-001


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