Railtrack threatened by rising cost of train protection system
The costs of installing a new nationwide rail safety system in the wake of the Paddington disaster have nearly doubled, it emerged yesterday.
In the six months since the crash in which 31 people were killed the bill for introducing the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) has risen from £220m to about £400m and could escalate further.
Who will pay for the costs of avoiding another Paddington will now be the subject of a battle between Railtrack, the infrastructure company, and Tom Winsor, the Rail Regulator.
Train operating companies have accepted that they will have to pay £50m, but impending negotiations between Railtrack and Mr Winsor will decide what proportion of the rest will be borne by the infrastructure company's shareholders, tax payers and passengers. News of the growing TPWS budget emerges ahead of the inquiry into the crash by Lord Cullen, which begins tomorrow.
The deputy prime minister John Prescott has insisted that the system - which would have probably prevented the Paddington disaster - must be installed to cover all potentially hazardous signals throughout the network.
The increase in the estimated cost of TPWS is partly a consequence of the contracting process and partly because the industry has agreed to complete the project a year earlier in mid-2003.
The device automatically slows down trains ahead of warning signals and triggers the brakes if trains runs past a red light.
Railtrack believes it will "dramatically lessen" the consequences of trains passing signals at danger, when it is fully fitted to 11,000 key signals.
The system is to be installed ahead of the intended introduction of the more sophisticated and fail-safe Automatic Train Protection hardware which will cost £1.1bn and could be superseded by new European laws.
The escalating costs come amid a deteriorating relationship between Railtrack and the Regulator after he issued an enforcement order against the company ordering it to provide more detailed information about the progress of work on upgrading the West Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
London 'needs affordable housing'
Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'
Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'
- 1 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
- 5 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...