1st November 2010 | Last Week in Trains

Last week Reuters reported that four multinational organisations are bidding against each other for ownership of High Speed 1. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Allianz and two Ontario pension funds have teams on it. The 186mph link between London and the Channel Tunnel could be worth around two billion pounds ($3.2billion), more money than I can comprehend – although a drop in the ocean compared to the government’s broader debt reduction challenge. The question of whether privatisation is good for the rail customer continues to be asked.

Full article here.

I’ve been trying to put together an analysis of ongoing news, following George Osborne’s cutting announcement in the Spending Review, that fares will probably rise. It’s been difficult.

Channel 4’s Econmics correspondent Faisal Islam’s blog on the subject a couple of weeks ago was enlightening as was that of David Turner (turniprail.blogspot.com) who said: “…from 2012 regulated fares, which include savers and season tickets, will rise for three years at the rate of RPI+3%, whereas currently they rise at a rate of RPI+1%. Richard Hebditch, the Campaign for Better Transport’s campaign director, estimated (via the medium of Twitter – http://twitter.com/RichardHebditch) that based on the government’s own estimations of the level of RPI and inflation over the course of this parliament, the rise in fares [will] be 31% overall.”

Obviously any train fare increases are mirrored by those increases in air fare and fuel duty – and flights look set to be worse hit. Last week saw news that taxes of up to 55% on air travel could raise flight prices phenomenally. And of course, following the 1p rise on petrol prices a month ago, petrol continues to be highly taxed.

Trains planes and automobiles this is complex. And the Welsh are asking what’s happening with regard to the potential electrification of their railway