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2000-02-17 RTK-001
Railtrack plc

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Railtrack board agree biggest ever investment plan for 2000/01


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Railtrack plc

Railtrack board agree biggest ever investment plan for 2000/01
_______________________________________________________________


date
17 February 2000
source Railtrack plc
type Press release



Railtrack's Board has approved the biggest ever investment spend for a
financial year with a commitment to a £2.5 billion programme to renew and
enhance the railway infrastructure in the next financial year 2000/01 starting
1 April.

The £2.5 billion investment is a £500 million increase on this year's
investment levels which are on target to see £2 billion spent. This is over
three times the amount that British Rail was able to invest on average in its
last ten years and is more than double the amount invested by Railtrack in
its first year in the private sector three years ago.

£1.5 billion of the spend in the year 2000/01 will be on renewing the
infrastructure mainly on track, signalling, stations and bridges. This is the
highest level of renewal spend on the railway in recent memory.

High profile schemes such as the WCML are also part of the equation for
the total spending bill. WCML will actually account for £600 million of both
renewal and enhancement. The first phase of this vital project is well
underway and on schedule to be handed over in May 2002.

Enhancement spending will see £80 million spent on the accelerated
installation of the safety system Train Protection and Warning Systems (TPWS).
The board noted the further raft of safety initiatives ongoing across the
industry - the introduction of a national confidential reporting system, the
reduction in broken rails and the reduction in signals passed at danger.

There is also a planned £47 million to be spent on the signalling and
station works at Leeds and £28 million ear marked for the extension of the
Newcastle metro to Sunderland.

£190 million will be spent on finishing the Station Regeneration
Programme. The billion pound programme refurbishing Britain's 2500 stations
will be complete by the end of the year.

£500 million will be spent in the forthcoming financial year on the
first phase of CTRL as the project proceeds to budget and on time. Completion
is targeted for 2003.

Commenting on the size of the investment spend Railtrack Chief
Executive Gerald Corbett said, 'Our number one priority is to deliver our
public service obligations agreed with the Rail Regulator. The increase in
investment is fundamental to the improvements in safety, train performance,
track quality and other outputs that we are striving to deliver. Our results
year to date show we are making progress, we have to sustain this into the
future.'

Speaking on Railtrack's performance target of 12.7% set by the
Regulator, he said: 'We always maintained that this a huge hurdle but have not
let up in our efforts. By the end of the third quarter we had achieved a 9%
reduction in Railtrack minutes delay on passenger trains. We have had a good
January with an improvement on last year of over 20%. This now puts the year
to date improvement at over 10% for the year. However there is still six
weeks of the year to go and as we found out before Christmas one day of
extreme cold or gale force winds can soon put a dint in all the hard work of
the staff on the ground.'


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-02-17 RTK-001





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