Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum by Railtrack (RER 01A)

INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE TRANSPORT SUB-COMMITTEE AT THE MEETING ON 1 NOVEMBER 2000

Question:

  The money saved by suspending the grinding of rails for a number of years in the mid-1990s.

Answer:

  There was no suspension of rail grinding activity by Railtrack in the 1990s.

  Railtrack has commissioned rail grinding every year since coming into existence on 1 April 1994. However, Railtrack did not inherit any active rail grinding activity from BR on 1 April 1994. The rail grinding work programme provided under the retained BR contract should have commenced work for Railtrack on 1 April 1994. However, the rail grinding programme could not be implemented immediately because the designated contractor was unable to provide a rail grinding train. This did result in a reduction in money spent on rail grinding from 1994-95. The unreliability of the rail grinding train provided by our contractor resulted in reduced levels of activity, from that scheduled by Railtrack, for all years up to 1998-99.

  Amount spent on rail grinding:


    1.4.94-31.3.95£157,000
    1.4.95-31.3.96£536,000
    1.4.96-31.3.97£1,053,360
    1.4.97-31.3.98£837,840
    1.4.98-31.3.99£1,200,904


  In the last year Railtrack has increased its scheduled rail grinding programme and our contractors have worked to meet these targets.

Question:

  Does Railtrack intend to compensate the train operators for the disruption caused by the closure of the West Coast Main Line and other lines, so that they, in turn, may compensate passengers and freight customers? Has the cost of meeting such claims been estimated?

Answer:

  Railtrack's contractual arrangements with the Train Operating Companies require it to pay compensation in the event of non-delivery of Train Performance. Plainly in the aftermath of Hatfield significant disruption has occurred to Train Operating Companies services and these will be compensated by Railtrack. The cost of this compensation is currently being evaluated. Railtrack cannot comment on the compensation paid to passengers and freight customers as these are matters for the individual train and freight companies.

7 December 2000


 
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