Rail franchises operators & contracts

09.12.16

HS1 could be sold off as owners reveal third-party interest

HS1 could be up for sale after the company that holds the franchise announced a review of its ownership.

In 2010, Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired the 30-year contract from the DfT to operate and manage HS1.

However, in a statement released yesterday, Ontario Teachers confirmed that the partnership was carrying out a strategic review of its ownership of HS1 following “a number of investment inquiries from third parties”.

It added that it would announce the appointment of a financial adviser “in due course”, but that no timetable had been set and it had no definite commitment to sell.

HS1, the 109km high-speed rail route between London St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, exceeds its targets for revenue and performance in its most recent ORR review.

It announced in September that it is appointing Dyan Crowther, former COO of Govia Thameslink Railway, as its new chief executive.

(Image c. Department for Transport)

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Comments

Jerry Alderson   09/12/2016 at 15:06

The headline shoud be that the HS1 concession is up for sale. HS1 is owned by the state.

Chris M   12/12/2016 at 03:35

Indeed Jerry, this article is totally misleading. A 30-year operation concession was granted in 2008. It is not anything like a franchise as stated and no physical part of HS1 is owned by the group who have the concession. The original design and construction element of the concession probably now only applies if infrastructure enhancements are required in future. Otherwise it is the financing, operating, repair and maintenance that the concession holders are responsible for. In other words in 2038 their rights end and HS1 must be handed over to the next concession owner in good order.

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