UK Power Networks Service

Investing in the future of High Speed 2

12 January 2018

Any significant public railway infrastructure projects like High Speed 2 must ensure value for money for the taxpayer. Integrating design, build, finance, operate and maintain offers economies of scale, shares risk and aligns objectives in a way which delivers economically sustainable infrastructure for consumers, government and shareholders equally.

Packaging the design and construction with a long-term operations and maintenance and third party financing model ensures investment decisions are made with consideration to the longer-term operation and maintenance of the assets.

This is in the UK’s best interests, as the assets will ultimately will be handed back to, and owned by, the taxpayer at the end of the contract term.

Learning from High Speed 1

The High Speed 1 business model has been a success for the taxpayer through an innovative approach. In addition to our direct capital investment, efficient capital was deployed to competitively bid and pay to run the railway infrastructure, for a term of 30 years after its construction.

UK Power Networks Services invested over £150 million into the design, construction and commissioning of the traction power and non-traction networks of the railway.

This is delivering outstanding results and economic growth for both the national economy and local economies along the route during the period of private management leading to a better quality product.

As a strategic partner and a member of an ecosystem of partners and suppliers to High Speed 1, we continue to operate and maintain the power infrastructure of the line and contribute to the success of Europe’s most reliable railway.

The result for High Speed 1 has been a considerable cost-saving, whilst delivering network availability of 99.99% and an outstanding level of safety performance.

Ian Smyth, Director of UK Power Networks Services said: “Significant performance, like we have seen with High Speed 1, is a result of implementing a whole-of-life asset stewardship model introduced at the beginning of the design phase.

“Providing value for the taxpayer and reliability and experience for the passenger in the long-term is the ultimate goal, especially in a capital-intensive industry such as railways.

“In order for the next generation of high speed rail in the UK to achieve the success the public will demand, the assets cannot be designed and built in isolation of future operation and maintenance.

“We are proud of our achievements with High Speed 1 and we value the strong partnership we have built over the years.”