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Railhub Archive
1999-08-26 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Incentive regulation central to the Regulator's periodic review of Railtrack

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Incentive regulation central to the Regulator's periodic review of Railtrack

26 August 1999
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/99/37

Tom Winsor, the Rail Regulator, has today published his proposals for the timetable and process for the periodic review of the access charges which Railtrack levies on its customers, the train operating companies, for use of the national rail network. The purpose of this consultation document is to provide a progress report on work undertaken since December 1998 on the review of Railtrack's economic framework, to set out a proposed timetable for the remainder of the review, and to invite views from interested parties on Railtrack's revised proposals for its financial framework.

Commenting on the consultation document published today, Tom Winsor said: "Railtrack was established in 1994 on the assumption that it would be a dynamic, entrepreneurial, risk-taking company. It was given the leadership of the railway industry with the expectation that it would discharge that role, under supervision of the Regulator, proactively and well. The years since have been years of disappointment, and Railtrack has all but squandered that opportunity. That cannot be allowed to continue.

"The review I am conducting will be tough but demonstrably fair to all parties. I want Railtrack and all the railway companies to be successful - as successful as possible. To do so, their commercial aspirations must be consistent with and promote the public interest. Incentive regulation will be the hallmark of the regulatory environment in which that will be achieved."

The access charges which Railtrack levies on its customers, the train operating companies, are Railtrack's prime source of revenue and the current periodic review will determine the charges which Railtrack will be entitled to levy on train operators from April 2001.

Since Railtrack's revised proposals on the financial framework diverge substantially from the company's earlier position, the Regulator considers it appropriate for him to invite further comments from interested parties at this stage. This should not be taken as an indication that the Regulator is in agreement with any of Railtrack's proposals.

This periodic review is the most important of the many instruments which will be used to determine Railtrack's commercial and financial position in the next decade. The decisions made will have consequences which extend beyond the next price control period and which will create the conditions, in line with the objectives of the Strategic Rail Authority and the Government, for Railtrack and other railway industry participants to invest strongly in the railway in line with their public interest obligations.

A copy of the consultation document is available from the ORR Library, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2TQ. Telephone 0171 282 2001; fax 0171 282 2045; e-mail The document can also be found on the ORR website:

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-08-26 ORR-001


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