This article reports an interview with Sir Alastair Morton, chairman of the shadow Strategic Rail Authority (sSRA), to find out what progress it has made in its first year. The UK Government set up the sSRA in July 1999, to provide strategic direction for Britain's railways, encourage investment, and manage the passenger rail franchises. The sSRA has completed its assessment of the railways, and will then develop its first strategy document, which will be presented in Autumn 2000. Unfortunately, the sSRA has found that the condition of Britain's railways is not good. Much of its track is worn out, with more broken rails, imperfectly laid out, with most of its spare capacity absorbed by rail traffic growth during recent years. The sSRA sees capacity as the key to the rail network's future success. It has studied exactly what the UK needs from the network, and is seeking the most economical way of improving its quality and capacity to meet that demand. The conclusions of this study will be published in the strategy document. The sSRA must also wait for the conclusion of the Rail Regulator's Periodic Review of Railtrack's access charges, now due in September. The sSRA is encouraging train operating companies (TOCs) to invest in infrastructure in return for its award of longer franchises, up to 20 years. It is driven by its aim to attract more commuters and intercity travellers to rail.

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    LONDON,   United Kingdom  EC1R 4QX
  • Authors:
    • Thompson, R
  • Publication Date: 2000-5-25


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: iv-vi
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00796534
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2000 12:00AM