Negotiations for the East Coast Main Line franchise were last week suspended by the Strategic Rail Authority following upgrade cost increases from Railtrack. But Railtrack hit back, saying that it had kept the SRA abreast of all cost increases. It claimed the actual rises for core elements were around 20% to 25%, which was 'not unusual'.
Railtrack said the increases were down to changes and extra items added to the original plans. Railtrack has also complained that it is being asked to price a scheme for which the details depend on which company wins the franchise, and the SRA's strategic plan, which is yet to be published.