ISSUING its 2000 Network Management Statement on March 29, British infrastructure company Railtrack proposed a total spend of £51·5bn over the next 12 years. Of the total, £22·3bn represents maintenance and renewal; the rest is ’investment’ to enhance the network.

However, only £4·2bn of the enhancement spend is actually ’committed’. The remainder is what Railtrack Chief Executive Gerald Corbett described as a ’wish list’ - ’the total menu to choose from’. He said Railtrack would prefer to focus on the 2001-06 regulatory Control Period. Over the five years only £3bn is currently committed. This includes the West Coast Route Modernisation, Thameslink 2000, and the Sunderland extension of the Tyne & Wear Metro. Network-wide enhancements include station modifications to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and installation of the Train Protection & Warning System, costed at £330m. Although WCRM is now budgeted at £4·8bn, a large proportion is covered by the Core Investment Programme which does not count as enhancement.

A further £2·5bn is allocated for ’core proposals’, including the next phase of the East Coast Main Line upgrade (25 individual schemes), the Great Western Main Line upgrade (14 schemes), London - Stansted Airport and the North Transpennine route, plus upgrades to suburban networks serving Manchester, Coventry and Birmingham.

TABLE: Table I. Railtrack expenditure plans1 úbn

2001-06 1999-2011

Maintenance & renewal 10·6 22·3

Committed enhancements 3·0 4·2

Recommended enhancements 2·5 2·9

Other capacity options2 2·5 6·5

SSRA incremental outputs - 2·7

Station improvements - 2·4

New and reopened lines - 4·6

Other options - 5·9

Total 18·6 51·5

1. Excludes Channel Tunnel Rail Link 2. Assumes investment supported by regulatory review ’which delivers extra funds’.