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Rail companies say they are on track

PUBLISHED: 23:30 02 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

RAIL companies operating in East Anglia were today quick to dismiss claims that the network was on the point of collapse.

Over the weekend current and former Railtrack bosses spoke out about the state of the network - and claimed it was close to breaking point.

RAIL companies operating in East Anglia were today quick to dismiss claims that the network was on the point of collapse.

Over the weekend current and former Railtrack bosses spoke out about the state of the network – and claimed it was close to breaking point.

John Curley, manager of Railtrack's Great Western Zone, said much of the network was "life expired" and had not had enough maintenance since privatisation.

And Michael Holden, director of Railtrack's Southern Region, said there were too many trains on the track – which had led to more delays and it was impossible to achieve the government's aim of increasing the number of rail journeys by 50 per cent over the next 10 years.

But Anglia Railways' Peter Meades said rail companies in this region were working closely with Railtrack officials to ensure trains were as reliable as possible.

"We have a very good relationship with them on the ground – although we certainly fight our corner if there is a problem due to their infrastructure," he said.

The number of passengers travelling by train was now at an all-time high, despite the problems of the last two years, he added.

The future shape of the rail network in Britain should become clear early in the new year – the government's Strategic Rail Authority is due to publish details of its plans on January 14.

That should give a clear indication of the future direction that new SRA chairman Richard Bowker wants to see Britain's rail network heading.

The SRA has already said it wants to see the creation of a "Greater Anglia" franchise running all trains from Liverpool Street Station from the start of the next round of franchises in April 2004.

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