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Railhub Archive
2000-10-23 ORR-002
Office of the Rail Regulator


Rail Regulator announces more money for safety

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Rail Regulator announces more money for safety

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23 October 2000
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/00/35

Speaking at the launch of "The periodic review of Railtrack's access charges", Mr Winsor said:

"The tragic events of last week at Hatfield have again brought home to us all the essential requirement of a high quality, well-maintained infrastructure to deliver a safe and reliable rail network. My review was written before the accident but demonstrates my long-standing concern for improving safety on the railways. On track renewal, I have argued consistently that the company needs to do more work and I have provided for greater expenditure than the company initially asked for. I am therefore putting in the following sums of money for Railtrack to spend specifically on safety.

£3.5 billion for track maintenance and renewal. This includes £150 million specifically targeted at reducing broken rails.
£4 billion on maintenance and renewal of signalling systems.
£500 million on signalling enhancements such as the train protection warning system (TPWS).
"The high incidence of broken rails has been causing me particular concern for some time and in August I appointed independent consultants to advise on appropriate steps for Railtrack to take to improve its performance and to meet its licence obligations. I expect to receive their report in November.

"The periodic review injects an enormous amount of investment into Railtrack as a recognition of the need to renew as well as enhance the network. I have also introduced new mechanisms which ensure that Railtrack is properly funded for additional safety-related work if that is required. This means that the company can have no more excuses for not delivering the first class railway system which passengers and freight users are entitled to expect in the twenty-first century."

Notes for editors

1. "The periodic review of Railtrack's access charges: final conclusions" was published today. Copies are available from Sue MacSwan, Librarian, ORR, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2TQ.

2. The Rail Regulator took action in August 1999 (PN ORR/99/33, 12 August 1999), November 1999 (PN ORR/99/50, 12 November 1999) and August 2000 (PN ORR/00/25, 4 August 2000) regarding his concerns about the level of broken rails. He has appointed independent consultants (TTCI) to review the adequacy of Railtrack's proposals for improvement. The review is jointly sponsored by ORR and the Health & Safety Executive and is due to report in November.

3. Broken rail statistics for Railtrack: 1997-98 755 1998-99 952 1999-0 917 2000-01 32% reduction on the previous year (for the first six months of this year).

Press Enquiries:

ORR Press Office 020 7282 2002/2007/2130

Out of hours pager: 07659 127303

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-10-23 ORR-002


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