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Stop Press

Railtrack has scrapped its bid to take control of the maintenance and renewal of the subsurface sections of the London Underground network. It said it had failed to reach agreement with the Government and London Transport over the best way to integrate the rail networks. Problems resolving capacity issues in the Paddington area have been blamed for halting progress in developing suitable east-west links - difficulties highlighted by the recent rail crash at Ladbroke Grove.

Instead, Railtrack will now look at ways to develop and finance London Underground's well advanced East London Line scheme. The Government said the shadow Strategic Rail Authority will study capacity problems identified for east-west routes and examine the proposals for possible rail links, including Crossrail. London Underground has put the Tube's subsurface line package back out to competitive tender, but this time without the requirement to provide integration with the existing rail network. Railtrack said it will decide whether to bid when the pre-qualification documents are released.

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