HS2

27.04.16

Network Rail sets up property company to maximise estate income

A property company has been set up by Network Rail to help increase income from its estate.

Network Rail Property, previously Network Rail’s specialist transport property business, will be established as a company with its own board in order to achieve Network Rail’s goal of releasing £1.8bn funding for its enhancement plan through the sale of non-core assets.

The move comes as Network Rail is facing up to £50bn of debt by the end of the decade, and is consulting on the possibility of privatising major stations to generate revenue.

The future of the stations, which include London Waterloo, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, is not yet known But Network Rail has commissioned banking firm Citigroup to look at options to solve its financial problems, which will report back by the end of the year.

Last month, Network Rail also triggered the potential sell-off of its electrical power assets in a consultation to test the industry’s interest in buying thousands of its overhead lines, substations and pylons.

David Biggs, new managing director of Network Rail Property, said the company would generate income “mostly through the sale of property assets where continued Network Rail ownership is not essential to running the railway. This means Network Rail can focus on its core business of running a safe, reliable and growing railway that is vital to Britain’s economic health”.

He added that Network Rail Property’s other main goal is to unlock more land to fulfil its partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency to build more homes on land near railways.

(Image c. Yui Mok from Press Association Images)

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