Civils and stations

07.01.20

ORR sets £25.9m charges for HS1 asset maintenance

Train operators using the High Speed 1 (HS1 Ltd) rail line from London to the Channel Tunnel will be expected to pay a collective £25.9m per year for asset upkeep, renewal and replacement.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has decided today that the long-term cost of maintaining the 67-mile high speed track and its assets will be £25.9m, to be collectively paid for by rail operators.

The high-speed track, operated by HS1, was originally opened in 2003 and is owned by Government.

As the line and its assets age, more work will be needed to maintain it, meaning charges are increasing from the current level. However, the calculated cost is 32% (£12.3m) per year less than HS1 Ltd requested.

The multi-million-pound charges spread out costs necessary for over 40 years of maintenance work, preventing future price strikes for years to come.

Analysis carried out by ORR confirm that the lower figure is sufficient to sustain the assets for this period and the reduced cost, compared to proposals, will benefit operators and rail users.

The Final Determination, as it is called, will come into effect from 1 April 2020.

John Larkinson, ORR Chief Executive, said:

"High Speed 1 is a valuable public asset and our role is to provide independent assurance that the line will be kept in good condition over the long-term at the lowest possible cost. This is important to make sure that train operators and, in turn, passengers and freight users get a good deal now but not at the expense of future generations.”

High Speed 1 Ltd holds a Concession Agreement for 30 years for operation of the HS1 network, until 31 December 2040.

ORR will continue to review the approach to asset and project management costs to ensure that future HS1 plans are delivered well and at good value.

 

Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

 

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