In October, the Department for Transport (DfT) Directors General wrote to Network Rail’s Chief Executive Andrew Haines commissioning a review of capacity allocation on the East Coast main line (‘Informed Sources’, December issue). The letter is clearly aimed at delivery of a pragmatic way forward on the route. This reflects the fact DfT, the Office of Rail and Road and Network Rail inadvertently promised more capacity than can reliably be delivered on the route, including ORR agreeing access rights for FirstGroup’s open access fast King’s Cross – Edinburgh trains. The review is to be carried out on a ‘blank sheet’ basis and the letter asks Andrew Haines to carry out the work ‘from the perspective of a neutral single guiding mind’, not in his Network Rail role.
By Chris StokesFeature