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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Reduced delays boost Network Rail
Commuters wait at train station
Delays have been reduced by 17%
Network Rail, owner of the UK rail infrastructure, has managed to greatly reduce its annual losses.

For the 12 months to 31 March, it made a pre-tax loss of 164m ($299m), compared with a 1.07bn loss last year.

The successor to Railtrack, Network Rail's net debt for the year increased from 12.6bn to 15.6bn, but this was below the expected 17.2bn level.

Train delays for which it was responsible were reduced by 17% across the 12-month period.

'Ongoing efforts'

Network Rail received 102m from the train operators during the year for meeting various targets.

By contrast, it had to pay performance-related penalties of 348m during the previous 12 months.

"The year to come will see Network Rail's employees continue to work hard to meet our objectives as we target a further substantial reduction in delays and further efficiency savings," said Network Rail chief executive John Armitt.

"The rebuilding of the railway goes on, progress is good, and passengers, train and freight operators are now seeing real benefits.

"We are determined to deliver further improvements."

During the year the number of broken rails hit an all-time low of 322 after a 4% fall.

Five years ago this figure was more than 900.

A total of 626 miles of new rail was laid across the 12 months, 511 sets of points were installed, and 450 miles of ballast renewed.


SEE ALSO:
Is train punctuality improving?
31 Mar 05 |  Have Your Say
Network Rail back in the black
26 Nov 04 |  Business
Network Rail to get an extra 7bn
12 Dec 03 |  Business


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