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IOC warns London over poor rail network

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LONDON'S BID to host the 2012 Olympic games could fail unless more is spent on its ageing rail network, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) warned last week.

The IOC shortlisted London for the 2012 Olympics alongside Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow.

But it said that rail infrastructure earmarked to serve games venues in East London was 'often obsolete and considerable investments must be made to upgrade the existing system in terms of capacity and safety.'

The criticism is likely to fuel the case for the £1bn upgrade and extension of the East London Line, which has been ready to go out to tender since last year (NCE 11 March).

The IOC also questioned plans to use the Channel Tunnel Rail Link to run a shuttle service between Stratford and St Pancras station.

A spokesman for CTRL operator London & Continental Railways said the line could easily accommodate the shuttle service.

But he said that the service would be undermined if the government maintained its freeze on building the new northern ticket hall for King's Cross Underground station.

The northern ticket hall is intended to handle extra passengers heading for the underground from CTRL services arriving at St Pancras.

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