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[sharechat] Tranzrail - Railtrack update


From: Robin Benson <rob@hammerheadmedia.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 11:07:10 +0100


With all the current jousting over Tranzrail, it can be instructive, if 
only to examine the game behaviour and strategies of the various 
players,  to keep an eye on what's happened in the case of Railtrack in 
the UK, a private monopoly put to sleep by the UK government, and the 
following scrap about whether or not (and how much) Railtrack 
shareholders should receive compensation.

A compressed history: A private company charged with effective and 
efficient management of the UK rail network infrastructure, Railtrack 
appears to have significantly run down the UK rail network while paying 
healthy dividends for shareholders from a monopoly position. This came 
to an end recently when train crashes, seemingly caused or contributed 
to by poor network condition, prompted enough public attention 
(outrage, mostly) for the current New Labour government to refuse 
pouring public funds into the pot, and put Railtrack out to pasture. 
Since then, Railtrack shareholders have been seeking compensation from 
the government. The new not-for-prodit body that replaces Railtrack, 
Network Rail, has said that it the network is in such bad condition 
that it will take significant capital and time to get the network back 
to any reasonable condition.

The Railtrack shareholders seeking compensation have a website:
http://www.rpsag.org.uk/

They claim "misfeasance in public office" with regard to the 
government's actions in relation to Railtrack's demise. This highlights 
the inherent difficulties a government faces in the context of national 
infrastructure, public relations and private interests.

Air New Zealand? Tranzrail?

Robin


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