Rail companies will have to pay £26 million per year to keep the High Speed 1 train line operational.
The numbers are more than quadruple the amount they were paying a decade ago, according to new figures.
Analysis from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) shows that operators should expect to pay £26.1 million between them per year for the next five years to maintain the 67 miles of track linking London and the Channel Tunnel.
Earlier this year, proposals from HS1 Limited suggested companies, including Eurostar and Southeastern, would face a bill of £38.2m for the track’s annual upkeep.
However, ORR has deemed this figure to be too high.
After HS1’s announcement in the summer, operators had warned that the higher figure would mean price increases for passengers.
Eurostar said that the original bill would make the line “unsustainable from the perspective of passenger affordability”.
In the five years to January 2020, companies that use the HS1 line had to pay £11.2 million per year towards its upkeep.
But, for the five years before 2015, the annual bill was £5.9 million.
John Larkinson, ORR chief executive said: “High Speed 1 is a valuable public asset and our role is to provide independent assurance that assets can be kept in good condition over the long-term at the lowest possible cost.
“This is important to make sure that operators, and in turn, passengers and freight users, get a good deal now, but not at the expense of future generations.”
An HS1 Ltd spokesperson says: “Continued investment in maintenance and renewals is required to ensure sustainability of HS1 infrastructure.
“We welcome the publication of today’s draft determination from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR). We will now take this away, consider it fully and respond in due course.”
These draft figures will be put to a public consultation until November 11.
The final bill for the next five years will announce in January 2020.
Passengers will benefit from a fast, free and reliable WiFi service thanks to a ‘significant digital investment’, Network Rail announce.
Network Rail will offer seamless connectivity and single sign-on at all Network Rail managed stations. Full story.
From the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
About the Author
01507 529529 | SHewitt@Mortons.co.uk
Latest posts by Sam Hewitt (see all)
- Check before you travel: 20,000 staff to work on 380 rail projects over Christmas - 10th December 2019
- Avanti West Coast promises ‘big change’ for commuters - 9th December 2019
- UK railway news round-up - 6th December 2019