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Network Rail appoints PwC to review options for depot sales

Network Rail has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to advise it on the possibility of selling its light maintenance depots.

Network Rail said it has appointed the consultancy firm to overview the depots and discuss when and how would be the best way to sell them if it did decide to do so.

It currently owns around 110 light maintenance depots across the country.

“We have appointed PwC to advise us on that particular portfolio of assets, although no decisions have been made yet,” a Network Rail spokesperson told RTM.

Network Rail is trying to sell £1.8bn of ‘non-core’ assets to finance the delivery of its improvement programme, after it was criticised for financial difficulties in the Hendy Review. It is estimated that Network Rail’s debt could reach £50bn by 2020.

The infrastructure owner has also hired Citigroup for advice on the possibility of selling off 18 major stations, and is carrying out a consultation on selling off its electrical power assets.

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Pdeaves   21/06/2016 at 11:17

'Sell, sell, sell'. OK, that raises income for this year, but what about the next? If instead we keep hold of assets, we can earn an income from them year after year after year.

Henry Law   21/06/2016 at 11:54

Sounds short sighted. This is rail-connected property which might be needed in the future. Network Rail might consider, as an accountancy exercise, setting up each depot as a separate profit centre and charging notional market rents against them. That would promote optimal utilisation, assuming it is worth the cost and effort of administration, which it probably is not. Look how the options for expansion of Marylebone have been stymied by the disposal of the land immediately to the west and north, previously a depot area.

Steve Mcgregor   21/06/2016 at 13:16

Why not try and sell service not assets, every rail connected site sold is a potential rail freight opportunity lost. Short term flows can spring out of nowhere and should be actively sought.

Plowe   21/06/2016 at 15:39

Selling £1.8bn of non-core assets to help assist the £50bn debt by 2020?? You don't need an overpaid accountancy firm for that kind of math

Helmsman   21/06/2016 at 15:58

This is back door privatisation. The government has no right to do as it was not in the Tory election manifesto. It amounts to the theft from the British people. This penny-wise, pound-foolish approach might plug today's short term funding problems but I fear it will be at the expense of future developments (which will cost more than they otherwise would be). We may rue the day when a future government has to buy back assets which should have never been sold off in the first place. And at a much higher price too.

Davidf   21/06/2016 at 17:50

The history of railway companies in the 1800s shows the ones that succeeded were those with their own stations in the right locations, and under their control. The same was true of depots and sidings. The railways that didn't control their own assets were held to ransom by competitors or crippled by the inability to run the services they wanted. Most eventually failed and were taken over by stronger rivals. That position of failure is exactly where Network Rail and the train operators will be if control of core stations and maintenance depot assets pass out of their control. The railways of the 1800s found it was commercial suicide to operate without control of these core assets - how come a national company is about to repeat the mistake?

Jack Will   21/06/2016 at 19:41

Let's be honest NR are badly managed they are a total waist of money to projects who deliver without them man marking. The Hendry report is factual and everyone at NR are blind they are a waist of money everyone can see it but NR

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