UK’s first high-speed railway will be run by consortium

The 30-year concession to run Britain’s first high-speed railway, High Speed 1 has been awarded to a consortium comprising Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for £2.1bn.

The consortium will take on the management of the 68-mile line, which links London to the Channel Tunnel, later this month.

The consortium will be responsible for running the line, as well as stations including St Pancras International, and the international stations at Stratford, Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

UK Transport secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘The £2.1bn receipt exceeds the highest expectations for the sale and will make a welcome contribution to reducing the deficit.’

The performance of the line’s new operator will be monitored by the Office of Rail Regulation.

High Speed 1 is currently used by international Eurostar services between London and European destinations.

Southeastern Trains operates domestic high-speed services on the line and Deutsche Bahn recently announced its intention to commence running high-speed trains from London to Frankfurt via Brussels and Cologne, as well as to Amsterdam in 2013.