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Agreement is best

Your leader (NCE last week) is somewhat unfair to Railtrack as far as the Thameslink 2000 project is concerned. As the former director, London projects, for Railtrack between 1994 and 1996, I was responsible for reviewing the BR project and finalising an agreement with the franchising director before Railtrack's privatisation in 1996.

BR had developed a good conceptual scheme but it did not fit within the contractual framework of the privatised railway and it was necessary to carry out more detailed design in some key sensitive areas. Railtrack focused on London Bridge, Blackfriars and the area through the Borough Market where there were quite severe potential impacts on local residents. The City Corporation was also concerned about the closure of the line between Farringdon and Moorgate.

You rightly state that the overall timetable has been adversely affected by the delay to the CTRL scheme, but with this in mind it is surely right for Railtrack to try to reach agreement with some of the objectors rather than face a lengthy inquiry like BAA has done for Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

Jim Morgan (M), Mansfield House, 6 River Close, Four Marks, Alton, Hants GU34

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