Category Archives: Rail infrastructure

How will the UK pay for its future railway?

  News in the Financial Times that the British government is trying to keep the £34 billion (US$57bn) debts of Network Rail, the owner-operator-maintainer-improver of Britain’s rail infrastructure, off balance sheet can only accelerate the debate about how to pay for … Continue reading

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China Development Bank and HS2: more paper tiger than dragon’s roar

Yesterday evening I was in Broadcasting House, the headquarters of BBC News, watching a big screen carrying an exclusive report from their business editor, Kamal Ahmed. China, he reported, is seeking to finance the construction of High Speed 2, the planned … Continue reading

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Rail nationalisation call won’t help infrastructure

  British media were full of stories last week that Ed Miliband, who might well be prime minister next year, is being urged to renationalise train companies. Too much money, the argument goes, is being funnelled into the pockets of … Continue reading

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Will HS2 really rob existing railways?

Buried deep in the financial case document for the UK’s High Speed 2 project is a curious figure. It will probably be overlooked in today’s parliamentary debate, where MPs are expected to give their support to the project in the … Continue reading

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HS2: don’t expect the private sector to pay up

The private sector will not finance the construction of High Speed 2, and will not fund (that is, without repayment) more than “a small percentage of the core costs” either. I have been saying that since 2011 in articles, blog posts and an article … Continue reading

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The Higgins HS2 report: masterly inactivity

You don’t get to be the £597,000-a-year chairman of a big government-owned company like HS2 Limited without knowing how to handle demanding politicians and a dimwitted public. And so it is with Sir David Higgins. His report ‘HS2 Plus’ published … Continue reading

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HS2: the spin gathers speed

Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, is today expected to announce some cost savings for High Speed 2 , the north-south high-speed rail link the UK government proposes to build. If press reports are accurate, then these ‘savings’ carry … Continue reading

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