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Network Rail gauges interest in sale of electrical power assets

4 March 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Network Rail has revealed it will be testing the market for interest in its electrical power assets in order to support the ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan.

Network Rail gauges interest in sale of electrical power assets

Network Rail has announced it will be gauging interest from global investors and electricity network operators on the sale of its electrical power assets. The owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure will be exploring the potential for bringing new capital and expertise to support future investment as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. According to Network Rail, the move is a ‘key part of its strategy to benchmark its competitiveness against the market, maximise commercial opportunities and inject private capital into the railway to help fund investment.’

Network Rail plans to raise £1.8bn from property sales to fund £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan

The rail infrastructure owner has already initiated plans to raise £1.8bn – primarily from property sales – to help fund the five-year, £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan. In order to cope with rapidly growing passenger numbers, Network Rail believes significant investment is needed to build capacity for more trains.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Continuing the historically high levels of investment in our railway that we’ve seen over the last decade is absolutely vital if we’re to provide the railway Britain needs in the years ahead. Better railways drive economic growth, housing and jobs.

“Renewed focus on our core activities”

“Our approach is all about financial discipline, with a renewed focus on our core activities while being open and innovative about new sources of finance to fund our growing railway.

“Network Rail’s job is to help support Britain’s economic growth by providing the railway that Britain needs, today and in the future. While no decisions have yet been made, if there are investors or others with expertise in key areas who can help us do that, then we should look to embrace those opportunities.”

Financial reform is one of three broad changes set out in Network Rail’s response to the Shaw Report scoping document which will help the rail industry rise to the challenges ahead, alongside further devolution to route businesses and accelerated technological transformation to deliver the capacity needed to cater for future demand.

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