Princes Risborough Extension, Progress at May 2012:
Negotiations with Network Rail continue – we meet with them roughly every six weeks to move the project along. We are now working on some quite detailed issues. It is a complex negotiation as there will be four parties to some parts of the final agreements (CPRRA, Network Rail, Chiltern Railways and M40 Trains Ltd (the construction company involved in setting up Chiltern Railways in the 1990’s and which itself is now owned by Deutsche Bahn). This is not going to be quick!
The CPRR will be linked to the national network to allow Network Rail and Chiltern Railways access to the sidings that will be leased to us.
A current problem we are having to resolve is that Network Rail require access for tamping machines to the sidings they will lease to us on a 24/7 basis – actually for two tamping machines that must be parked side-by-side, not one behind the other. As we are not a 24/7 operator, and this could potentially block our own trains, we have had to devise a quite complex draft ‘method of working’ for the whole of the Princes Risborough extension. This is currently being reviewed by Network Rail.
We have also started preliminary discussions about how the new platform will be constructed to allow the CPRRA to work on the same platform as the Chiltern Railway operation.
Lawyers will soon start work on the legal agreements for the leasing arrangements, and on obtaining an extension to the CPRR’s Transport and Works Act Order for the new extension.
Despite the complexity and the length of time it is taking I am confident that the extension will be secured in the not-too-distant future. The final important factor will be the cost of the whole project, which could be a very large number. But the cost will depend on the final arrangements we negotiate with Network Rail, so right now we do not have precise figures.