25th January 2013
- High Speed 1’s Canadian owner is to launch a refinancing of its £1.5bn debt mountain.
- Eurostar has dashed hopes that one year it might carry more than 10 million passengers.
- Contractors on the Edinburgh Tram were forced to dig up tons of concrete after they poured it in the wrong place.
- Network Rail bosses are looking at plans for two new bonus schemes which could see them paid up to 125 per cent on top of their salaries.
Main stories this week
High Speed 1’s Canadian owner is to launch a refinancing of its £1.5bn debt mountain. [The Independent]
For the 15th year running, Eurostar has dashed hopes that one year it might carry more than 10 million passengers. [The Times]
Contractors on the Edinburgh Tram were forced to dig up tons of concrete after they poured it in the wrong place. [The Scotsman]
Network Rail bosses are looking at plans for two new bonus schemes which could see them paid up to 125 per cent on top of their salaries. [Evening Standard]
New rail services
Plans to remove the Wimbledon loop from the Thameslink network have been dropped following a public consultation that found in favour of retaining it. [Transport Briefing]
Plans have been announced to overhaul the Caledonian Sleeper service between Scotland and London and turn it into a luxury train. [TRL]
London Overground is set to have its fleet enlarged by the end of next year, if plans now being considered by Transport for London go ahead. [Railnews]
High Speed 2 could also help spread high-speed broadband across Britain, according to the government, which is developing plans for cables to be run along the new track as it seeks to push the benefits of the controversial £33bn project. [The Guardian]
A [BBC News] piece examines whether fares are higher or lower since the days of British Rail.
Train carriages could soon be built to give passengers better protection against bomb explosions. [The Independent]
Hertfordshire council leaders have threatened legal action against the government unless it looks again at plans for a rail freight depot in St Albans. [BBC News]
Stations shut during the 1960s “Beeching axe” could be rebuilt under plans announced by Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary. [Daily Telegraph]
Dozens of commuters were hurt, five of them seriously, when two Vienna commuter trains collided head-on during morning rush hour. [The Times]
A Russian freight operator plans to float on the London stock exchange amid an intensifying fight among private players for a piece of the Russian rail freight sector. [Financial Times]
Private Eye’s Signal Failures writes: “Nobody expected Eurostar chairman Richard Brown’s review of rail franchising – order by the government after the costly west coast franchise fiasco – to recommend scrapping the discredited system. But did he have to present such a rose-tinted picture to meet his brief?” [See more]
Financial update and sharecheck
FirstGroup reported 8.1% revenue growth across its rail division in the fourth quarter of 2012 [press release], sending its share price upward.
Eurotunnel – which owns GB Railfreight – reported record revenues and traffic last year, boosted by the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. [Financial Times]
National Express shares began to increase in late November following the appointment Sir John Armitt as its new chairman [Financial Times] and a surge in coach bookings in December following widespread threats of rail strike action. [Bus and Coach]
Stagecoach has purchased a number of bus companies from FirstGroup in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. [Transport Briefing]