News

The new drive means a total of 50 UTCs have now been approved

'Captain Invisible' replaced: Sir David Higgins named as new HS2 chief

Current chairman Doug Oakervee will leave at the end of the year after enduring a dreadful summer in which it has been claimed that the project could end up costing £80bn

Business week in review

In profit...

Anger over £1m pay for Network Rail's new boss

Network Rail has returned to the "bad old days" of inflated salaries and bonuses, according to industry sources shocked by the £1m-plus pay package of the state-backed group's new chief executive.

The argument for the costly project is that the West Coast main line is full; when it was built, it too was extremely unpopular

Inside Whitehall: The British first complain about big infrastructure projects, then come to revere them. HS2 will be no different

Yes, the new railway will go faster; but the reason to build it is not just speed – it is capacity

Outside threat to Network Rail veteran's tilt at the crown

'Strong' car-industry candidate casts doubt over Simon Kirby's bid to replace Sir David Higgins as chief executive

Network Rail misses targets on savings

Network Rail has admitted that it will miss key cost savings targets on its £4bn track-replacement programme in the body's current five-year plan.

London to Stansted Airport trains halted on busy holiday getaway day

'Overhead wire problems' cited for closure

Network Rail bosses defend lucrative bonus plan

Network Rail bosses have defended lucrative additional bonus pay for executive directors ahead of a key vote.

Network Rail has challenged claims by the Director General of the CBI, John Cridland

CBI Criticism: Network Rail speaks out to defend itself

Rail bosses challenge claims over HS2 budget

Network Rail is already forecast to have delivered efficiencies of 40 per cent in running the railways from 2004 and 2014 and ORR said it expected to see a further 20 per cent from 2014 to 2019

Network Rail facing funding crisis as debts spiral out of control

Report from regulator tells Government to consider privatisation or risk unsustainable borrowing affecting safety and ticket prices

Balfour Beatty to cut 200 jobs as it shuts sites

Balfour Beatty is to close three of its regional construction businesses with the loss of up to 200 jobs. The largest closure is at Dartford, Kent, where 90 jobs will go. The other sites are at Rochdale, in Lancashire and Doncaster in Yorkshire.

Contracts at stake for rail contractors on safety issues

Network Rail, the heavily-indebted body that runs Britain's tracks and most prominent train stations, has warned that even their best contractors face suspension if safety records do not get better.

Mark Leftly: Network Rail challenge is like running a marathon but there's no gold medal

Outlook Sir David Higgins must think that the Olympics was a doddle. Having overseen the construction of London 2012 well under the (admittedly revised) budget of £9.3bn, the Aussie businessman decided to take charge of an organisation that really has earned a poor reputation over the years, Network Rail.

Network Rail debt burden tops £30bn as profits hit buffers

Network Rail today admitted its debt mountain soared past £30 billion and its post-tax profit dropped 8 per cent in the past year, just days after it handed five directors bonuses worth more than £350,000.

Ed Balls arrives at the Thomson Reuters headquarters to give his speech

Ed Balls sets out election battle lines with promise to spend billions on housebuilding and road and rail projects

Labour would stick within the Coalition’s limits on day-to-day spending if it wins power in 2015 but would plough billions of pounds more into housebuilding and road and rail projects.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all