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UK postpones new train investment programme

Source: Reuters - Fri 26th Feb 2010

Department for Transport (DfT) has postponed its planned multi-billion pound investment to replace the UK's ageing fleet of Intercity trains with a new generation of Super Express trains.

Transport secretary Andrew Adonis on Friday said it would be inappropriate for the government to enter into the contract in the run-up to a general election, adding that he had ordered an independent review about the value of the programme.

Agility Trains was named as preferred bidder for the contract last year.

The DfT said the government and Network Rail was committed to electrify the Great Western Main Line from 2016 but would make some adjustments to the original programme.

"Over the course of the procurement there has been a reduction in the capacity of the debt market to support the transaction as originally envisaged, and passenger growth has also slowed" Adonis said in a statement.

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