The Restructured Railway in Great Britain: Performance and Prospects



The Restructured Railway in Great Britain: Performance and Prospects

Authors

BOLT C, Office of the Rail Regulator, UK

Description

Before 1994, all railway activities in Great Britain were undertaken by British Rail (BR). It was a vertically integrated, state-owned monopoly, receiving significant fmancial support from Government. These activities have now been restructured into aroun

Abstract

Before 1994, all railway activities in Great Britain were undertaken by British Rail (BR). It was a vertically integrated, state-owned monopoly, receiving significant fmancial support from Government. These activities have now been restructured into around 100 separate companies. In particular, following the requirements of EC Directive 91/440, operation of the railway infrastructure has been separated from the operation of trains. But this has not simply been an accounting separation as required by the Directive; it has also involved separate management and ownership.

Some of the companies created out of BR, principally Ralltrack Group PLC (the owner and operator of the network, and freeholder of all stations and light maintenance depots), and the rolling stock companies (owners of all the passenger rolling stock previously owned by BR) became initially Government owned companies, and were subsequently sold. Other companies remained subsidiaries of BR, and have been (or are to be) either sold through trade sales or, in the case of the 25 passenger train operating companies, transferred to private sector companies following award of a franchise by the Franchising Director.

This paper reviews the outcome of the privatisation process and the current performance of the industry, and identifies some of the issues which will affect its future development. To set these matters in context, it-describes initially the functions and duties of the Rail Regulator.

Publisher

Association for European Transport