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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Railtrack drops court threat
Eurostar train pulls out of Waterloo
Railtrack has had an offer for its right to buy the Chunnel link
Railtrack has dropped its threat of court action against the government as it considers bids for its assets.

Government-backed Network Rail has bid 500m for the failed company's rail infrastructure, while London & Continental Railways has offered 295m for Railtrack's rights to buy part of the Channel Tunnel rail link when it is completed.

Railtrack, which was forced into administration by transport secretary Stephen Byers in October, had threatened to take the government to court on Thursday unless it released documents relating to the decision.

Furious shareholders

Now it says it will postpone the planned action while it considers what to do about the offers it has received.

Last week's Network Rail bid was backed by 300m of government cash and a 200m government-backed loan.

The government has repeatedly denied that it was bailing out Railtrack shareholders, who were furious when the company was put into administration.

Stephen Byers, had previously said that no public money would be offered as compensation, but had faced pressure from financial institutions in the City of London to compensate shareholders.

The government's commitment to give 300m of funds is being seen as part of the process of rebuilding the City's confidence in public private partnerships in order to make sure that funds are available for other projects.

Mr Byers says the 300m grant reflects the benefits of an early exit from administration and so is not new money.

See also:

02 Apr 02 | Business
Railtrack gets Channel Tunnel offer
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