Tuesday 02 December 2014

HS1 appoints new Engineering Director

Sean Horkan has been appointed as Engineering Director for HS1 Ltd. He joins from Heathrow Airport Holdings and has 25 years of airport experience in various roles in relation to operational management, infrastructure management and terminal development. Sean succeeds Richard Martin who postponed his move back to international consultancy to serve as an interim Engineering Director until a permanent  appointment could be made and will now be leaving at the end of March. Sean will join HS1 in February 2015.

Sean’s role at HS1 will be focussed on working with customers and business partners to ensure continuous improvement of asset performance in the short term and the development of asset investment plans that accommodate future growth and reduce whole life costs over the long term.

Nicola Shaw, CEO of HS1 Ltd said: “I have enormous pleasure in welcoming Sean to HS1 and look forward to working with him. His in-depth experience with complex infrastructure asset management and with the operation of airport terminals will prove a very good grounding point for our work at HS1 with international travellers and high speed assets. At the same time I thank Richard for all that he has done at HS1 in various different roles – firstly as Business Services Director and more recently as Interim Engineering Director. Without his commitment we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

Sean Horkan said: “I am delighted to be joining HS1 at this time, as the demand for both UK and international high-speed services continues to grow. Working in strong and proactive partnerships has been central to my work at Heathrow, and is also at the heart of the HS1’s success. The line has an enviable service and safety record and I look forward to building on these achievements to further develop the service offered.”

Richard Martin said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time at HS1 and the part I have been able to play in making it such a success. It is a truly unique part of the UK’s transport infrastructure and I wish it, the company and Sean, well for the future.”

Monday 06 October 2014

HS1 Environment Manager Rachel Starling Receives MBE

On Thursday 2nd October, HS1’s Environment Manger, Rachel Starling, received an MBE for services to the rail industry from HRH the Duke of Cambridge, during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd said: “Rachel has been a central member of the team here at HS1 and was instrumental in bringing the vision of high-speed rail in the UK into reality.  The environmental measures that she has overseen have helped to ensure that in building such a significant piece of infrastructure, we have kept to a minimum our impact on the environment and in a number of cases, are contributing to increased bio-diversity along the line. I am delighted that after 20 years of service, Rachel has been justly recognised for all of her hard work”.

Rachel Starling said: “It was a real privilege to receive this honour and I have greatly enjoyed working on the development of high-speed rail in the UK. It is particularly pleasing that the work around the environment has been recognised and I certainly couldn't have done it without a great team around me”.

Rachel’s MBE was announced as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.

Picture Credit: Press Association

Friday 03 October 2014

HS1 Ltd delighted to have been highly commended at National Transport Awards

HS1 Ltd is delighted to have been highly commended by the judges of the National Transport Awards last night, for our sustainable environment management work undertaken in partnership with Network Rail, in particular the active landscape management.

Nicola Shaw, CEO of HS1 Ltd said: “Many congratulations to all involved. We are proud being recognised for this work to protect the quality of services which operate on the line, as well as limiting our impact on the environment. It is another example of the partnership approach that makes our high speed services such a success.”

The National Transport Awards are supported by the Department for Transport and Passenger Focus and took place at the Westminster Park Plaza, London on 2nd October 2014.

Thursday 17 July 2014

High Speed 1's Chinua Labor wins Outstanding Business Contribution Award

Chinua Labor, Regulatory Contract Manager for High Speed 1 has been awarded the Rail Business Awards' Outstanding Business Contribution for June 2014.

Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive Office of High Speed 1 explained that Chinua had been a 'significant player' in the business, making a 'substantial contribution' to the growth of freigh traffic on the high speed line.

You can see the video of Chinua receiving his award and an interview with him about his success here

Wednesday 04 June 2014

HS2 – Impacts on HS1 Ltd and our Customers

HS1 is the UK’s first high speed railway and is one of the world’s leading high speed railway businesses. The success of the services which run on our infrastructure and the growing demand for use of our assets are testament to the successful development of a quality rail product within the UK.

We have been working with High Speed 2 as they seek to develop their proposals for the new railway, to share the lessons learned from the construction and implementation phases of HS1, including on the engagement of communities and sympathetic integration with the environment. We have also been discussing, with High Speed 2, ways to ensure that the work they need to do to deliver the project does not undermine the quality of service which we provide to customers at St Pancras International. HS1 Ltd foresees two specific issues in this regard, which are as follows:

  1. The environment around St Pancras – particularly considering any disruption of access to and from the station e.g. from spoil removal lorries during the digging of the HS2 tunnel from Euston
  2. The HS1 offices at Euston station which will need to be relocated

While both HS1 and HS2 believe that appropriate solutions can be found to mitigate these issues and protect our quality of service, these solutions have not yet been finalised and we have therefore used the formal process of petitioning the Houses of Parliament to ensure that the issues are noted and that solutions are delivered. The petition, which provides a greater level of detail.

Click on the link for the full HS1 and HS2 petition

 

[ CHECK LINK ]

Friday 09 May 2014

ORR approves five-year plan for HS1

ORR has today approved HS1 Ltd's Five Year Asset Management Statement (5YAMS) which sets out plans and proposed charges for the period from April 2015 to March 2020 (Control Period 2 (CP2)). 

The 5YAMS demonstrates how HS1 Ltd will deliver what customers want from HS1, which is primarily to maintain the current levels of high performance at an efficient cost. The ORR has recognised HS1 has performed well during Control Period 1 (CP1) and has praised the open and transparent manner in which the periodic review has been carried out.

Graeme Thompson, Chief Financial Officer of HS1 Ltd, said:

"We welcome the ORR's approval of our plans, which is the culmination of two-years of cooperative, transparent and constructive engagement with all of our stakeholders. Working in partnership with these stakeholders, including Network Rail (High Speed) which operates and maintains the high speed line, has allowed us to develop joint plans and priority areas of focus that will support and enhance the customer experience for domestic and international high speed rail passengers and freight operators.

"The ultimate output of this periodic review is a new set of prices that we charge train operators from 2015 to 2020. We are pleased that we are able to propose prices reductions of 12%+ against equivalent CP1 charges for international and domestic passenger operators plus even greater reductions in absolute freight charges. The focus now is delivering on the commitments and improvements we have agreed to ensure that HS1 remains a world class railway delivering a customer service that we can all be proud of."

The approval document can be found here.

 

[ CHECK LINK ]

 

Friday 17 January 2014

HS1 Ltd DB Schenker Rail additional freight services High Speed 1

HS1 Ltd and DB Schenker Rail (UK) this week announced additional freight services along High Speed 1 from Monday the 13 January 2014. The services will carry refrigerated containers of perishable foodstuffs and automotive components from Valencia, Spain to Barking and Dagenham in east London (via the Channel Tunnel).

The additional services are a welcome move in the right direction for HS1, which has been working behind the scenes with UK and European rail freight operators to help them identify new markets and new paths across HS1 and into Europe.

DB Schenker Rail (UK)'s track access contract with HS1 for these additional services is initially for 6 months, with both parties intending this to continue. 

HS1 allows DB Schenker Rail (UK) to convey goods through the Channel Tunnel using European-sized wagons, opening up new freight and logistics markets. 

Nicola Shaw from HS1 said: "HS1 is delighted to welcome additional DB Schenker Rail (UK) freight services onto the high speed line. This is a big step up for freight on HS1, and is an area in which we continue to grow. 

"The new contract demonstrates the value of the high speed network in the UK. Due to size dimensions of the freight, it is something that can only be carried in the UK on the high speed network, offering the shipper a seamless European rail service.

"We enjoy a good relationship with DB Schenker Rail (UK) and have always maintained that a partnership approach is crucial to the long term success of the HS1."

Neil McDonald, Head of Sales for DB Schenker Rail (UK) said: "DB Schenker Rail (UK) is pleased to further contribute to the growth of freight traffic on HS1. The additional services from Spain will add to an already successful operation of twice weekly return services to/from Poland.

"DB Schenker Rail (UK) has a strong positive relationship with HS1 which allows us to offer new and existing customers the opportunity of transporting goods to and from mainland Europe in wagons which are too large to be conveyed on the UK national network.

"These additional trains will further demonstrate the benefits of using the High Speed 1 rail route to trade with mainland Europe.

"DB Schenker Rail (UK) looks forward to building on its already successful relationship with HS1 to add further services in the future." 

Tuesday 19 November 2013

MITIE on track to operate Ashford International station for HS1

MITIE, the FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company, has been awarded a £1m per year contract with HS1 Ltd, the owner of the high speed railway between St Pancras in London and the Channel Tunnel.  The contract is to operate Ashford International station for the next five years. 

MITIE will manage and operate the running of the international station, including station management, maintenance, cleaning and security.

The contract represents a new opportunity for MITIE, combining delivery of a range of facilities management services with overall management of the station.

HS1 Ltd holds the concession to operate the route and stations which connect London to the Channel Tunnel and the international high speed routes to Paris and Brussels. The line also provides commuter services between London and Kent.

Peter Mosley, managing director of MITIE's Technical Facilities Management business, said:

“This is an important contract award for MITIE, and an opportunity to expand our services beyond traditional facilities management. We are excited about working with HS1 to deliver world-class services and positively contribute to the station environment.” 

Kevin Beauchamp, engineering and assets director for HS1 Ltd, said:

“In their current contract, MITIE has successfully combined an innovative approach to facilities management with cost efficiencies in the running of Ashford International. This makes the station more attractive to current and future train operators alike, and helps to maintain a high quality service for our customers”

Monday 04 November 2013

High Speed 1 welcomes Eurostar announcement to introduce services from London to Amsterdam

High Speed 1 (HS1), owners of the UK's only high speed rail line, has welcomed Eurostar's announcement earlier this week that it has signed an agreement with Dutch rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen to launch direct services between St Pancras International and Amsterdam Centraal from December 2016.

The London-Amsterdam route is the largest international airline market in Europe attracting over three million business and leisure passengers every year. With the arrival of a direct high-speed rail service between the UK and the Netherlands, passengers can look forward to an attractive, convenient alternative to the airlines.

Eurostar plans to run two services a day between London and Amsterdam with journey times of around four hours.  These services will run to Amsterdam stopping at Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal.  In addition to providing a direct high-speed link between the UK and the Netherlands, this service will also enhance the scope for customers to connect to a range of destinations in mainland Europe.

Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive of HS1, said:

“This is exciting news and an important step in opening up London and the UK to more travel to Europe. Eurostar's announcement ensures that the UK will be part of a wider network of high speed trains across the continent, and will provide a fast, cost-effective and efficient service to customers. International rail travel has the ability to bring about real economic benefit to the UK, and will continue to be a driver for growth.”

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:

“We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so this announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans.  With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe's most popular routes.  Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.”

Monday 11 February 2013

HS1 Announces £1.6 billion Refinance Success

HS1 Ltd today announced it has completed its refinancing of the £1.3bn bank debt used for the concession purchase. In November 2010, the Canadian consortium of Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, acquired a 30 year concession to own and operate HS1 Ltd for £2.1bn.

Following a successful road show in the UK last week, HS1 has been able to raise £760m in the UK bond market, a significant upsize on the £455m target. These funds combined with a US private placement last year and a new bank facility has allowed HS1 to refinance its original acquisition facility. The new debt structure will amortise over the life of the concession.

Nicola Shaw, CEO, HS1 Ltd said: “HS1 has refinanced very successfully today, underlining the quality and strength of the business. Our A- credit rating and these coupons demonstrate investor confidence in our future performance. The long term finance we now have in place allows us to stay focussed on delivering for our customers and their passengers - trains arriving and departing on time and wonderful environments at our stations. Investors and customers alike should rest assured that we will continue to deliver this high quality over the remaining life of our concession.”

The number of passengers using Eurostar (the international operator using HS1) and Southeastern High Speed (the domestic operator using HS1) has grown year on year with Southeastern recently announcing 25 million passenger journeys on HS1. Eurostar is now carrying around 10m passengers per year. Retail, on the non-regulated side of the HS1 Ltd business, has also grown strongly, outperforming the high street with significant growth year on year.

Graeme Thompson, CFO, HS1 Ltd said: “It is very good news that we have not only met our refinancing targets but done so ahead of schedule. Market conditions and the fact that HS1 is low risk, good quality and high performing infrastructure has meant our proposition has been very well received and we appreciate the investor support.”

The active banks for the HS1 bonds are: BNP Paribas; Lloyds and RBS. The passive banks are: NAB and Scotiabank. In addition to those banks Export Development Bank of Canada also participated in the Bank Facilities

Wednesday 25 April 2012

HS1 Ltd and Network Rail Agree New Deal

HS1 Ltd, the owners of the UK’s first and only high speed railway, and Network Rail have signed a new deal, extending Network Rail's contract to operate and maintain High Speed 1 until at least 2025.

Following a very successful first five years of operation, since the full opening of HS1 and St Pancras International in 2007, the two organisations have now extended the contract between them to:

  • Bring the two businesses closer together – aligning incentives for quality and efficiency
  • Offer better value to HS1 and its customers – with an immediate significant reduction in price
  • Incentivise and facilitate the 50/50 sharing of future financial outperformance

Nicola Shaw, chief executive, HS1 Ltd said “We conducted an extensive market review and knew that we had alternatives. However, the quality of delivery from Network Rail (High Speed) has been good over the last few years and this deal offered real benefits to us and to our customers. We’ve now got a decade of certainty on which to work together to improve the line even further and to welcome more growth.”

Patrick Butcher, Network Rail’s group finance director, said “We have run HS1’s infrastructure since the current route opened in 2007 and have delivered a high standard of punctuality and overall performance for our client and the route's users – a standard that we aim to continue for many years to come.”

“The new contract offers our client even better value, and allows HS1 and its customers to share outperformance through the continuation of the excellent partnership that has been established.”

HS1 remains among the world's most reliable railways with an average train delay of between six and eight seconds. Passenger numbers continue to grow every year since opening.

Note to Editors

  • Network Rail operates, maintains and renews High Speed 1 railway through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Network Rail (High Speed).
  • NR(HS) and HS1 Ltd have a contract in place to 2047 which included the right for HS1 Ltd to 'market test' for alternative but similar service providers elsewhere and terminate the contract in 2015 by giving notice by 31 March 2015.
  • A new deal has been agreed with HS1 Ltd giving HS1 Ltd a new fixed price featuring a 10% reduction in costs to 31 March 2015 and moving its break-clause rights to 2025.
  • Beyond 2015 a new fixed price will be agreed, determined through the periodic review process with the ORR for HS1's control period 2 (2015 - 2020) and control period 3 (2020 - 2025). Network Rail will now be involved in, and bound by, this review process.
  • The new deal also sees both parties share 50/50 in any financial outperformance by Network Rail. HS1 Ltd will in turn share 60% of its discount and outperformance with its customers (i.e the train operators who use the route).
  • Various other charges were made to the contract too - to improve communications between the organisations and outcomes for customers.
  • Network Rail (High Speed) also manages three of the HS1's stations - St Pancras International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International.
    HS1 Ltd, owned equally by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Borealis Infrastructure Ltd, acquired a 30 year concession to own and operate the High Speed 1 railway in 2010.