Welcome for railway cost study

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The Rail Freight Group has welcomed government plans to scrutinise the overall cost structure of all elements of the railway sector.

An initial study is due by the end of March and will be followed by a detailed report. The Department for Transport says it will examine incentives to achieve greater efficiencies and identify any legal, operational and cultural barrier” that might prevent increasing value for money for both freight and passengers.

RFG chairman Tony Berkeley called on the government to ensure that the study was led by “someone with a world-wide reputation for delivering projects on time, at the lowed possible cost and without any dilution of safety”.

He said: “We have much to learn from other countries and industries, in particular from the US, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands, both in reducing costs and administration, and in ensuring that maintenance, renewals, new works and other changes are achievable at the lowest cost and shortest timescale, so that there is funding and capacity available to give the long suffering customer a better deal.”

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