Limited scope for train operator cost cuts


Expensive new fleet: LNER Azuma bi-mode No 800111 accelerates away from its stop at Dundee and is about to start the climb up to the Tay bridge as it forms the 09.52 Aberdeen to King’s Cross on 18 March 2022.
Ian Lothian

After nearly a decade of paying a net premium to the Department for Transport (DfT), in 2018-19 the franchised train operating companies (TOC) reverted to collectively requiring a subsidy. In its annual financial review for the year, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) had this reassuring comment about the change: ‘The increase is largely because of policy decisions in PR13 about how the industry is funded (the balance between network grants and access charges) rather than wider performance issues’.

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