Railtrack spending `on course’

Railtrack is expected today to unveil substantial spending plans on signalling, track and stations. Last year it said it would spend £1bn a year over 10 years to upgrade and maintain its infrastructure. Earlier this week, Railtrack faced criticism from the Save our Railways group which said its underspending of £750m on maintenance meant passengers […]

Railtrack is expected today to unveil substantial spending plans on signalling, track and stations. Last year it said it would spend £1bn a year over 10 years to upgrade and maintain its infrastructure.

Earlier this week, Railtrack faced criticism from the Save our Railways group which said its underspending of £750m on maintenance meant passengers suffer `disgusting, dangerous stations as well as slow, unreliable journeys’.

The 50 examples highlighted in the survey were `just the tip of the iceberg,’ Jonathan Bray, the campaign’s coordinator said.

Railtrack said the survey was `scurrilous nonsense’. It was `a poor attempt to mislead the general public’. The network management statement to be unveiled today would answer many of the issues raised and `define exciting plans for the rail infrastructure for the next 10 years,’ Railtrack said.

In the first two years of its existence Railtrack’s `ambitious spending plans were restricted by public sector contraints but the company spent to its permited limit,’ the firm said. Railtrack said £100m more has been spent in the first six months of this financial year than in the previous year throughout the network.

Railtrack said `indications are that similar levels will be reached in the second half’.