COMMENTS are due by February 14 from the many parties in Britain’s fragmented rail industry about the proposed structure of Railtrack track access charges which will apply from April 2001 to April 2006. Rail Regulator Tom Winsor published the fifth consultation document on December 15.

Provisional Conclusions on Revenue Requirements sets out Winsor’s latest thinking about the financial basis on which he proposes to calculate access charges. Critical to this are the level of Railtrack’s regulatory asset base - which is expected to be £4·07bn - and the rate of return the company is allowed to earn on this to finance investment.

Winsor is planning a framework that will incentivise Railtrack to spend more on improving train performance and enhancing the network. A final decision on the level and structure of access charges is due in July.

  • The Office of the Rail Regulator has awarded additional paths on the East Coast main line to Great North Eastern Railway and open-access group Hull Trains, which is backed by GB Railways, for the summer 2000 timetable.

    GNER hopes to lease a pair of regional Eurostars to work extra London - York services, and Hull Trains plans to launch three or four trains each way using Turbostar DMUs leased from Anglia Railways.