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Steve Marshall, Railtrack Finance Manager
"It is a huge step in the right direction"
 real 28k

The BBC's Transport correspondant, Daniel Boettcher
"The rail regulator is calling for better management for the network"
 real 56k

The BBC's Tom Symonds
"His announcement today should guarantee more work is done on the railways"
 real 56k

Rail Regulator, Tom Winsor
"This review contains considerable sums for safety"
 real 28k

Monday, 23 October, 2000, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Financial boost for Railtrack safety
Railway tracks
Money needs to be spent on renewing worn out rails
The Rail Regulator Tom Winsor has announced that nearly 15bn is to be invested in the railways over the next five years.

The money - more than 900m more than originally planned - will come from a combination of government grants and an increase in charges to the train companies using its lines.

The announcement comes less than a week after the Hatfield crash, believed to have been caused by a broken rail, killed four people.

Crash investigators are continuing the arduous task of picking over the scene of Tuesday's accident in Hertfordshire.

Considerable accountability

Mr Winsor stipulated that Railtrack would now have to produce an asset register showing the "condition, capability and capacity of all its assets".

Tom Winsor, Rail Regulator
Tom Winsor : Railtrack must do better
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Winsor warned: "Along with this considerable injection of money comes much greater accountability."

Mr Winsor said that, in all, Railtrack would be spending 14.9bn over the next five years "to ensure that Britain has a railway fit for the demands of increasing passenger numbers and freight users".

On the requirement that Railtrack should produce an asset register, Mr Winsor said: "It is remarkable that no centrally-held comprehensive and accurate register exists.

"I have been and will continue to regulate Railtrack in the public interest. By its own admission, the company must do better. There can be no excuses now."

'Rail renaissance'

Mr Winsor also said that independent people, answerable to him, would "monitor Railtrack's performance and ensure the money is spent wisely and well on the right things at the right times".

He added: "This review equips Railtrack to invest strongly, competently and efficiently in the railway industry.

"The shortcomings of the past regime are swept away, replaced by a sound framework for investment and the finance to carry out a rail renaissance.

"This review delivers a financial framework for Railtrack ... which establishes a clearer and fairer balance of responsibility and obligation in the industry."

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