Latest Rail News

07.09.12

Southern could need taxpayer support

Go-Ahead says passenger growth on its Southern franchise has been weak compared to its forecasts when it made its bid in 2009, and that it could need to claim revenue support from September 2013.

Revenues at the end of the period were 2% weaker than forecast in 2009, while passenger growth, at 1.2%, was half the previous year’s rate, while the premium it pays the Government to run the franchise almost doubled to £107m.

Go-Ahead posted a 3.5% fall in profits yesterday, but Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said its rail division is confident of winning more franchises over the next four years, with 12 up for grabs.

Brown said the “jury is out” on whether Southern would need revenue support, saying: “It’s quite a tough job that [Southern] have got to do but they are focused on trying to grow the top line still and get back onto that trajectory.”

Growth forecasts are a big issue in the industry at the moment, due to the ongoing controversy over the West Coast Main Line franchise win by FirstGroup over Virgin.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, said: “This is yet another example of the one-way ticket to the bank for the private rail operators. If they can’t extract a fat profit they can fall back on the corporate welfare of revenue support.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

M Cunningham   07/09/2012 at 13:13

Be quiet Mr Crow your the epitome of money for nothing whilst safeguarded

Paddy   07/09/2012 at 22:36

Why don't we just nationalise the Railways again? Put in a reasonble fair control and get used to the idea that Tax money will always be needed to support it. Wether it is dressed up as loans or subsidies it still keeps happening and the Railway is to important a part of our National infrastructure to be allowed to fail.

Andrew Oxon   11/09/2012 at 11:00

This shows the nonsense of the franchise system. Rail transport is an essential part of modern society, so the franchisee cannot be allowed to go bust.

RDB BSSL   21/06/2016 at 14:08

I have experienced huge delays with connecting trains, having to go via somewhere else just so that I can arrive at my destination. I have wasted loads of time trying to reach appointments on time. Who pays for my time? If the government were to take over the operations of Network Rail and all the various TOC's having the government and the only shareholder, movement between operators could be more flexible and train crews could be better managed. The money could then be recycled rather than being absorbed by greedy shareholders in those companies. Fares are much too high relative to the level of service we receive.

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >