This article reports an interview with Robert Horton, Chairman of Railtrack. He believes that greater transparency will attract private capital into rail projects that the Treasury was previously unwilling to fund directly. He explains how Railtrack will encourage innovative train operators to increase rail revenues, and how major economies from contracting out engineering functions will release funds required for delayed renewal work. Horton is an optimist, who totally rejects the gloomy scenarios by opponents of British Rail's privatisation, who predict that reduced investment and declining usage will lead to line closures. He does not advocate cutting back the size of the UK's rail network in a search for a profitable core. He views Railtrack as a 'minimalist' organisation, that will buy in most services, such as track maintenance, telecommunications and traction power, on a competitive basis. Besides managing the UK's rail infrastructure commercially, Railtrack will act as safety regulator. Horton considers that there is enormous scope for cost savings, technical innovation, and increasing throughput on British railways, now that they are privatised. There is also enormous scope for persuading the UK Government and the European Union to treat road and rail costs fairly.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00668083
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 2 1994 12:00AM