This presentation assesses the performance of British Rail (BR) during financial year 1990-91, and discusses the effects that BR's privatisation would have on future rail investment. In 1991, BR's revenue covered 81% of its costs, and a subsidy of 688 million pounds was required. However, to operate profitably, the British rail network would need to have of the order of 20% of its current size. The most profitable sector of BR is Trainload Freight, and InterCity is also profitable. Network SouthEast and European Passenger Services are potentially profitable. Railfreight Distribution is very unprofitable, and regional railways make an even greater loss. BR is currently investing about 1 billion pounds per year. The author considers that certain forms of privatisation could exacerbate tendencies to underinvest in infrastructure. That should be guarded against. He considers that, even on narrow financial grounds, the privatisation of BR is problematic. At the present stage, he would personally recommend limited scale experiments with franchising tendering, some forms of open access, and the development of joint venture companies. For the covering abstract see IRRD 855443.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Thomas Telford Limited

    London,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • PRESTON, J
  • Publication Date: 1992


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00668276
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-7277-19149
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 2 1994 12:00AM