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Railhub Archive
2002-09-27 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Darling's High Court application ...

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railway administration

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Department for Transport

Darling's High Court application ...

27 Sep 2002 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note Complete title not known

Long term improvement for Britain's railways will come a step closer today as Alistair Darling begins the final move towards placing the network under new ownership.

The Transport Secretary has applied to the High Court to request the lifting of the order that put Railtrack PLC into administration.

If the Court agrees to discharge the Order, it will pave the way for Railtrack's take- over by the non-profit distributing Network Rail. This will put the network under new ownership and will help deliver a modern and efficient railway.

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State said:

"A year ago it was obvious that Railtrack could not have carried on as it was. The Government had to take decisive action and build a structure that gave our railways stability. If the Judge decides to lift the Administration Order the final piece of the new structure will be put in place.

"We supported Network Rail's take-over because passengers demand and expect more. That is why we are also committed to investing almost £65 billion into rail. If the Court agrees to lift the Order the structure will be in place to ensure that money is invested efficiently and effectively.

"It will then be up to the rail industry to get on and deliver the improvement passengers expect. Everyone should feel the benefit"

It is up to the High Court to decide if it is appropriate to lift the Administration Order. If the Court agrees, the discharge of the Administration Order is expected soon after. The actual sale and purchase of Railtrack by Network Rail will be completed at the same time. Network Rail will be the new owner of Britain's Railways.


1. The Secretary of State has made the application to the Court of the Railway Administration Order to be discharged because he is satisfied that the arrangements are in place to enable Railtrack to be brought out of administration on a financially sound and secure basis. It is for the Court to decide if the Administration Order can be discharged. The Hearing will be on Tuesday 1 October. Financial close of the sale and purchase agreement and the discharge are inter-conditional and need to be completed in parallel. Two business days notice are needed from the date of Court judgement to allow for this to be co-ordinated.

2. Details on the Sale and Purchase agreement are contained within the Secretary of State's statement to The House of Commons made on 27 June 2002. It is available on

3. Railtrack was put into Railway Administration by an order of the High Court on the 7 October 2001 after a request from the Board for additional Government funding was refused and the Company was found to be insolvent . After the company was put into administration the then Transport Secretary argued that the public interest obligations of the rail network operator would, after the administration, be better achieved through a private company without shareholders - a private sector "company limited by guarantee".

4. Network Rail is a 'not for dividend' company limited by guarantee. It is dedicated to the interests of rail users and run for the benefit of the wider railway, not to maximise profits for shareholders. A professional board will be responsible for the operation of day-to-day business, as with all companies, the directors will owe their first duty to the company itself. Management will be held to account by over 100 company members, comprising of key stakeholders - such as train operators and passenger representatives.

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3108 Out of Hours: 020 7944 5925 E-mail:
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Railhub Archive ::: 2002-09-27 DfT-001


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