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Railhub Archive
2000-03-27 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Railtrack refuses to consent to Rail Regulator's modified West Coast Main Line enforcement order

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Railtrack refuses to consent to Rail Regulator's modified West Coast Main Line enforcement order

related documents

West Coast Main Line: statement by the Regulator (ORR, 1999)

1999-11-25 Railtrack response to the Rail Regulator's stewardship of the network document (Railtrack plc)


27 March 2000
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/00/08

Railtrack has refused to agree a modified enforcement order requiring thecompany's plans for the West Coast Main Line upgrade, giving the RailRegulator, Tom Winsor, no alternative but to press on with enforcement action and go through a second statutory consultation process.

Mr Winsor said today: 'To meet the planning needs of train operators and funders, Railtrack should be providing credible plans and other information in a timely manner. I published a draft enforcement order last November requiring Railtrack to produce robust plans to meet its commitments to additionalcapacity on the West Coast Main Line as well as studies for options forfurther improvements.

'This is not a procedural matter as Railtrack claims. It wants me to accept undertakings.

That I will not do as Railtrack has broken several undertakings given to the Regulator in the past and the modernisation project is already well behind schedule and estimated costs have doubled.

'Having modified the proposed order in several respects to take account of the company's concerns, the Railways Act 1993 requires me to obtain the consent of Railtrack before making the enforcement order in modified terms. If the company will not consent, I am required to go through a second statutory consultation period on the amended order. Railtrack has refused to consent to the changes.

'Accordingly I am today starting the process again with the publication of a modified draft enforcement order. I am extremely disappointed that Railtrack has refused to consent to the proposed modifications. Like me, the travelling public simply will not understand or accept Railtrack's behaviour.

'In the light of the company's stance on a number of crucial issues and the need for users and funders, including the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority and Passenger Transport Executives, of the West Coast Main Line modernisation to have confidence that the work will be put back on track for successful completion, I must continue with the enforcement action.

'A copy of the modified draft enforcement order is available from the ORRLibrarian, Sue MacSwan, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N2TQ.

Tel: 020 7282 2001;fax:020 7282 2045; e-mail:orr@dial.pipex.com.

The document can also be found on the ORR website:www.rail-reg.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors

1. Today's draft final order requires Railtrack to prepare and provide to the Regulator:(a) within seven days of the making of the final order a freight routing strategy to meet in full the requirements stated by freight operators for theperiod between 1 May 2000 and 1 May 2009 in respect of origins and destinations on or reached via the West Coast Main Line and costed specifications of the modifications needed to deliver the strategy;(b) by 22 May 2000: (i) a specimen timetable demonstrating the capacity that would be provided by works which Railtrack has proposed should be carried out:and; (ii) a statement of any shortfall in capacity between that provided by the timetable in sub-paragraph (i) and the capacity commitments, as modified by agreement with relevant train operators, together with an explanation of the works that would be required to meet those modified capacity commitments: and,(c) revised strategic reviews setting out costed specifications for meetingthe stated requirements of train operators and funders.

2. The Regulator is required before making a final enforcement order with modifications, either:(a) to obtain the consent of Railtrack to the modifications; or (b) if Railtrack does not consent: (i) to serve on Railtrack such notice as appears to him requisite of his proposal to make the order with modifications; (ii) in that notice to specify the period (not being less than 28 days from the date of the publication of the notice) within which representations with respect to the proposed order may be made; and (iii) consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

3. On 5 November 1999 the Rail Regulator began enforcement action demanding that Railtrack produce robust plans to meet its commitments to additional capacity as part of the upgrade and improvement of the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

(ORR Press Notice - ORR/99/48)

4. The Passenger Upgrade 2 ('PUG2') track access agreement between Railtrack and West Coast Trains Ltd was approved by the Regulator in 8 June 1998 on the basis that it would provide additional capacity for all passengerand freight operators, as well as allowing Virgin Trains to run faster and more frequent services with new tilting trains. The project has the potential to bring about a step change in frequency and reliability in services between major cities on the WCML.

5. The Regulator's action today is enforcement of Railtrack's network licence obligations. The purpose of Condition 7 of Railtrack's network licence is to secure the improvement, enhancement and development of the network so as to satisfy the reasonable requirements of persons providing services for the carriage of passengers or goods by railway and funders in respect of the quality and capability of the network.

6. The last Regulator formally requested Railtrack's plans to deliver its commitments to provide additional capacity on the WCML, on 2 June 1999 (ORR Press Notice ORR/99/20).

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-03-27 ORR-001


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