Friday 4 Mar 2016
Network Rail tests market for power infrastructure investors to support Railway Upgrade Plan
- Region & Route:
Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, will be assessing interest in its electrical power assets from potential global investors and electricity network operators.
This latest move, designed to explore the potential for bringing in new capital and expertise to support future investment, is a key part of Network Rail’s strategy to benchmark its competitiveness against the market, maximise commercial opportunities and inject private capital into the railway to help fund investment.
It is in addition to plans already underway to raise £1.8bn – primarily from property sales – to help fund Network Rail’s five-year, £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to build a bigger, better more reliable railway. The number of passengers on Britain’s railways is growing faster than anywhere in Europe, but the network is also the most congested – so significant investment is needed to build capacity for more trains.
Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Continuing the historically high levels of investment in our railway that we’ve seen over the last decade is absolutely vital if we’re to provide the railway Britain needs in the years ahead. Better railways drive economic growth, housing and jobs.
“Our approach is all about financial discipline, with a renewed focus on our core activities while being open and innovative about new sources of finance to fund our growing railway.
“Network Rail’s job is to help support Britain’s economic growth by providing the railway that Britain needs, today and in the future. While no decisions have yet been made, if there are investors or others with expertise in key areas who can help us do that, then we should look to embrace those opportunities.”
Financial reform is one of three broad changes set out in Network Rail’s response to the Shaw Report scoping document which will help the rail industry rise to the challenges ahead, alongside further devolution to route businesses and accelerated technological transformation to deliver the capacity needed to cater for future demand.
Notes to editors:
- Network Rail’s response to the Shaw Report scoping document can be found here.
- Network Rail’s vision is to deliver a railway that is safer, more reliable and more efficient than ever before, and that will help to build a thriving, sustainable economy. In line with this vision, Network Rail is looking at future options for the operation, maintenance, renewal, financing and enhancement of its electrical distribution and traction power assets.
- KPMG have been appointed as financial advisers and will be testing the market against a range of options, from maintaining the status quo to a potential geographical divestment of some or all of Network Rail’s electrical distribution and traction power assets to a third party.
- The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s £40bn spending and investment plan for Britain’s railways for the five year period up to 31 March 2019. The plan is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to tremendous growth the railways have seen – a doubling of passengers in the past twenty years. The plan will deliver a bigger, better railway with more trains, longer trains, faster trains with more infrastructure, more reliable infrastructure and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.
- Network Rail has embarked upon a comprehensive programme of examining its assets and looking at ways to realise value that will help fund the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan. These include:
- Commercial estate – 7,500 properties
- Freight yards
- Major stations
- Electrical power assets
- Land for housing
- Surplus land
- Telecoms assets
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.