James Moore: Rail's borrowing is shunted into the sidings
Outlook Back in 2001, MPs argued that Railtrack had managed Britain's rail infrastructure with such breathtaking incompetence that it should have been re-nationalised.
After some distinctly fishy goings-on in government in the days and weeks leading up to the company's eventual demise, ministers settled on an alternative option and Network Rail was born.
There were a number of reasons for this. For a start, it meant someone other than the transport secretary would carry the can in the event of accidents or simply commuters continuing frustrations with shoddy service and late running trains.
Of equal importance, an awful lot of rail debt would be kept off Britain's books. Said debt has now risen to £28bn and is starting to look like a train crash. Tish tosh, says the finance director, it just makes us like any other utility. Quite how that's supposed to be of any comfort is open to question.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Boko Haram: Thousands march in Cameroon to protest against the Islamist terror movement
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police after Zendaya dreadlocks racism row
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...