Updates from Network Rail, 3i and Carillion
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We start with news of £38bn investment from Network Rail in UK station and tracks infrastructure. Network Rail claims capacity for 170,000 extra seats for commuters at peak time will be introduced plus shortened journey times and more services between the cities of the north (Northern Hub).
Mark Carne, chief exec of Network Rail, said millions of passengers and freight users "will benefit enormously from the plans we set out today to wisely spend and invest £38bn in transforming some of the busiest parts of our railway network."
Network Rail claims the cost of running the railway network should be cut by 20% in the process. Of the £38bn to be spent in the next five years, £13bn will be invested in capital expenditure projects.
Next, a pre-close update from 3i Infrastructure. 3i claims its European portfolio has continued to perform well, delivering good levels of income. It continues to see attractive opportunities in the core infrastructure market, its key focus.
"While the India Fund remains affected by a number of macro-economic and market issues, its performance overall stabilised in the second half of the year," says 3i.
3i is due to receive proceeds of £10.9 million from Eversholt Rail Group on 31 March 2014 following a partial repayment of its shareholder loan.
Lastly, Carillion says it has been selected as preferred bidder for £200 million support services contract by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust over the initial five-year contract period. There is an option to extend the contract period by a further three years.
Carillion will provide, it says, fabric maintenance, mechanical and electrical engineering, catering, cleaning, security, logistics, waste management and the operation of switchboard functions.
Earlier in the month Carillion said there would be more effort and investment, bidding for work in the oil and gas support services sector, particularly in Canada and the Middle East.