Friday 20 July 2018

Four European Rail Infrastructure Managers join forces to deploy ERTMS between London, Paris and Brussels

Michel Boudoussier, Getlink Chief Corporate Officer, Dyan Crowther, HS1 CEO, Patrick Jeantet, SNCF-Réseau President and Luc Lallemand, Infrabel CEO, committed to join forces to coordinate the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on their networks at a meeting in Paris on Thursday, 19 July.

The rail triangle between London, Paris and Brussels is one of the busiest international European routes. The deployment of ERTMS will allow improved interoperability and better punctuality whilst avoiding obsolescence of current systems and increasing capacity, all to the highest safety standards.

Deploying ERTMS on this route requires exacting coordination between Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and a synchronised programme of development.

At their meeting, the four IMs committed to a common strategy on ERTMS implementation on the highspeed lines that link London, Paris and Brussels.  Their aim is to share expertise, select a uniform technical system and work to a common deployment schedule.  This cooperation will deliver savings from maximising the economies of scale and an optimised final result, which will benefit operators and ultimately passengers.

Thursday 31 May 2018

140-year-old public drinking fountain restored at St Pancras International

A Victorian drinking fountain which provided clean drinking water to Londoners in the 1870s reopened for public use at St Pancras International today, after extensive restoration by the station’s owners.

The reopening of the fountain, which originally helped overcome cholera epidemics in the capital, coincided with London History Day and forms part of St Pancras International’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The fountain was originally installed by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association, the forebearers of today’s Drinking Fountain Association. The fountain’s restoration was completed with specialist conservation masonry undertaken by Chichester Stone Works and supported through a grant by the Railway Heritage Trust.

You can find the fountain at the southern end of Pancras Road.


Wednesday 02 May 2018

Keith Ludeman joins HS1 Ltd as Chairman Designate

Keith Ludeman, the former Group CEO of Go-Ahead Group plc, has been appointed to the HS1 Ltd Board (“the Company”) as Chairman designate. Keith joined the HS1 Ltd board on the 30th of April 2018 as a non-executive director. In September 2018, he will succeed Rob Holden CBE as HS1 Ltd Chairman.

Keith is an experienced Chairman and senior board member, having served as non-executive director of companies such as Network Rail Ltd. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Bristol Water PLC, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the London Transport Museum, and a Non-Executive Director of Eversholt Rail Group. He was previously Non-Executive Chairman of Aspin Group, and TXM Plant, and remains a Non-Executive Director of Interserve PLC until June this year.

As Group CEO of Go-Ahead Group plc, Keith played a key role in introducing Southeastern high-speed train services to High Speed 1.

Ben Loomes, Managing Partner and Head of Infrastructure, InfraRed, and Sion Jones, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Equitix, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Keith to the HS1 Board.   Keith brings excellent experience in the rail sector as well as broad experience as a non-executive director.  He will be a strong addition to the HS1 Board.   We are very grateful to Rob who has been instrumental in the development of HS1 and its success today.”

Keith Ludeman, Chairman Designate, HS1 Ltd said:

“I am honoured to take up this role and to succeed Rob as Chairman. High Speed 1 has never been more popular, with strong demand for Southeastern high speed services, and new international routes just launched with Eurostar. I am looking forward to working with Dyan Crowther and the Board to guide the Company through the next phase of development of this vital UK asset.”

Rob Holden, Chairman, HS1 Ltd said:

“Stepping down from my role at HS1 will bring to an end my 22 year association with the UK’s first High Speed railway. From 1996, when the railway was known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and was a paper design, I have been privileged to lead great teams of people through construction, commissioning, the Royal opening in 2007 and operation. With HS1 celebrating a decade of successful operations and with the 150th anniversary of St Pancras Station, HS1 Ltd is in a position of great strength.

“I have been proud to be associated with the delivery of High Speed rail to the UK. Highlights have included the redevelopment of Kings Cross and Stratford and, best of all, the role we played in bringing to London the 2012 Olympic Games. A revitalised St. Pancras International is now a global icon for London and the nation’s favourite station. In Keith Ludeman, HS1 Ltd has secured the services of a superb Chairman with extensive experience of the sector. He is a good choice to lead the Board as High Speed 1 builds on its success.”

Monday 30 April 2018

London-Bordeaux by train in less than five hours as HS1 targets international expansion

  • Direct high-speed international trains will cut journey times

  •  Route proposed by four international railway operators as a turnkey route for a new or existing international train operator

London 30th April 2018:  Passengers will be able to travel from London to Bordeaux in less than five hours on direct high-speed international trains under plans proposed by rail operators along the route.

At present, rail travellers to Bordeaux have to change trains in Paris. The current Paris route takes 5H 25m with a 1h 05m connection in Paris when travelling from London to Bordeaux. The current return connection in Paris is longer at 1h 55m owing to the need to pass through border and security controls.

The direct service will cut journey times through a direct route and security controls located in Bordeaux. This will allow a future train operator to take on low cost airlines which currently fly 1.2m passengers per year[1] between the two. High-speed international trains will reach speeds of up to 200mph between the two cities.

HS1 Ltd, the owner and operator of High Speed 1 is in advanced planning with three other international railway operators along the proposed route. In a first for the UK, the railway operators are working on pre-planned and agreed timetable slots and train routes, meaning that a new international train operator will be able to get the route up and running in a couple of years.

The proposed route bypasses Paris and takes advantage of a newly completed 302km French high-speed rail line linking Tours with Bordeaux. The new service will be direct, with no need to change trains and will offer a less than five hour journey time. This compares to a current London to Bordeaux journey of 5h 25m and Bordeaux to London of 6h 26m.

Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, said: “As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys.

“This is the first time that railway operators have collaborated in this way and saves the train operator having to do a lot of legwork. The route is almost ready for a train operator to turn up and turn the key as soon as the UK and French Governments agree on border controls. With the right commitment, we could be looking at new services in the next couple of years. The service will take passengers direct from city centre to city centre, taking the hassle out of travel to South West France.”

The four railway operators along the proposed route, HS1 Ltd, Lisea, Eurotunnel and SNCF Réseau me in Bordeux on the 25th April 2018 to discuss developing Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean to facilitate international departures. Also identified are potential departure slots, cooperation with authorities and train paths. The proposed route is being discussed with train operators as closer to a turnkey project, providing a much faster start-up time than previous international routes.

The proposed route from London to Bordeaux comes as HS1 Ltd is developing a whole new range of international direct destinations. The Company is in discussions with operators to destinations including Frankfurt and Geneva. HS1 Ltd has appointed a new market development lead, Edmund Butcher to develop new route opportunities.


[1] Eurostat 2016 arrivals and departures to/from the United Kingdom with airports in South West France.

Monday 23 April 2018

HS1, the owners of St. Pancras International will be donating £5000 to the school of the Betjeman Poetry Prize 2018 winner

Continuing a strong and sustaining partnership with the Betjeman Poetry Prize, HS1, the owners of St. Pancras International has agreed to donate £5000 as a new prize to the school (or local library of a home schooled child) of the winning young poet of the 2018 Betjeman Poetry Prize! 

Previously, winning schools/libraries received £500. With current schooling budgets stretched to the max, we hope that the increased donation this year makes a positive impact on the winning poet's school or library. 

Imogen Lycett Green, Director of the Betjeman Poetry Prize showed her particular appreciation to Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director of HS1, and Estelle Hirrien, Marketing Manager, "for their imagination and sense of adventure. They see St Pancras International becoming a valuable ‘poetry platform’ for poets, performers and the public. The Betjeman Poetry Prize is thrilled to play a part in that vision." 

All entrants must be 10-13 years old and submit their poems here by Tuesday 31st July. Good luck!  

Friday 20 April 2018

HS1 Ltd wins at Women in Rail Awards 2018

HS1 Ltd is delighted to have taken home the Highest Gender Balanced and Diverse Workforce award for the rail sector at the Women in Rail Awards on the 19th April 2018. With women in over half of senior leadership roles at HS1, and diverse teams throughout the organisation, we are proud to be leading the way.

Wednesday 04 April 2018

HS1 Ltd welcomes first Eurostar Amsterdam service

HS1 Ltd welcomes the start of direct Eurostar services from St Pancras International to Amsterdam today. With journey times of 3hr01 to Rotterdam and 3hr41 to Amsterdam, Eurostar is using High Speed 1 to transform the connection between London and these key destinations.

Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, said: “We have been delighted to support Eurostar in the introduction of this fast connection to one of Europe’s most dynamic capital cities. High Speed 1 has the capacity and we look forward to working with Eurostar and other international operators on the launch of many new and exciting routes in the years ahead.”

Wednesday 06 December 2017

St Pancras International introduces online gift generator in a bid to reduce the 41million gifts that go unwanted each year

Despite the average Brit spending £354.63 on presents for loved ones at Christmas, new research by St Pancras International also suggests money isn’t always being spent wisely, with £2bn worth of gifts going unwanted each year. 
According to the iconic station and premium shopping destination, one in three will make a last minute dash to the shops for gifts on Christmas Eve, so it’s no surprise that a quarter find festive present buying stressful. It seems thoughtless present buying can have a huge impact on the day itself too, with one in ten adults admitting ‘a loved one hating their present has ruined their entire Christmas’.

For gift buyers, it’s getting the right present for a female partner that poses the biggest headache, with one in five people saying they find this task “very stressful”. Results also indicate present buying puts relationships through their paces - one in four admit to arguing or breaking up with a partner over a present they didn’t like, whilst one in three admit to lying to their partner to spare their feelings.

When it comes to the best and worst gift hunters – surprisingly, recipients say mums get them the worst gifts and daughters come up trumps with the best buys. What’s more, it seems the lengthy time spent with work colleagues pays off as they rank better present buyers than parents.

When asked what happens to unwanted gifts, the research found more than a third of Brits donate them to charity; one in four sell them online; 15% swap them for something else in store; and 10% return them even though ‘it makes them feel guilty’.

Other less resourceful solutions see a third of adults hiding unwanted gifts (14%) or throwing them away (14%), whilst a haphazard 2% admitted to giving a present back to the giver the next year by mistake.

In a bid to help stressed gift buyers in need of inspiration, St Pancras International has today launched the ‘Perfect Gift Generator’ - a smart tool that processes users’ answers to a series of questions to provide a list of gifts that can be found at the station, that are perfectly suited to their recipient. The bespoke offering can be accessed here.

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 comments: “We were really surprised by the number of gifts that go unwanted at Christmas. Equally, we understand that it can be tricky picking the perfect present, particularly with so much choice and often, little time, which is why we decided to develop the Perfect Gift Generator tool.

“With an array of stunning products available from our carefully curated selection of retailers, we wanted to take the convenient nature of the station retail offer one step further, by providing inspiration for the one million visitors expected each week in the run up to Christmas.”

Friday 01 December 2017

Exclusive discount to Eurostar passengers at St Pancras International

This December, St Pancras International has teamed up with Eurostar to offer exclusive discounts at your favourite shops, boutiques and restaurants for Eurostar passengers!

Whether you’re shopping for yourself, hunting for a Christmas gift, or craving a tasty treat, you’ve got carte blanche to shop ‘til you drop. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just arrived in London or you’re heading for departures. Just show your Eurostar ticket and a form of ID at the checkout in your favourite store or eatery on the day you travel.

Here’s a list of the discounts you can get between 1 December and 24 December 2017:

  • Aspinal of London – 10%

  • L.K. Bennett – 10%

  • Godiva – A £10 gift when you spend £30

  • Rolling Luggage – 10%

  • Joules – 10%

  • Prime Burger – 20%

  • Patisserie Valerie – 10%

  • YO! Sushi – 15%

  • Carluccio’s – 10%

  • AMT Coffee – 10% off any size drink (excludes bottled drinks)

  • Things British – 20%

  • Petit Bateau – 10%

  • Neal's Yard Remedies – 15%

  • Kikki.K – 10%


Terms & Conditions

  • Offer is valid between 1-24 December 2017 inclusive.
  • Discounts vary between retailers and are accurate at the time of publication. Each retailer may vary or withdraw the offer at any time.
  • To obtain discount you will need to show your Eurostar ticket and a copy of your ID.
  • Discounts are only available on the day of travel.
  • All sales will be subject to the individual retailer's T&Cs.

Thursday 23 November 2017

St Pancras 150th Anniversary Station Shop now open

Next year will mark 150 years since St Pancras station welcomed its first arrival. St Pancras are already beginning to celebrate their 150th anniversary in style by launching official merchandise for everybody to enjoy.

St Pancras has already launched their online shop, but now you can get your hands on St Pancras' exciting new range of 150th anniversary products at the just opened station pop-up retail unit.

The anniversary store will be in the middle of the St Pancras International concourse throughout 2018 but is opening just in time for Christmas, stocking a wide range of high quality apparel and commemorative items that will make the perfect Christmas gifts for someone special.

Adam Bass, Director of licensing agency Golden Goose, who are managing the licensing and retail programme said, “The 150th anniversary celebration will generate an unprecedented amount of attention for this much-loved architectural landmark and we are thrilled to have played our part in managing the creation of the anniversary product ranges and launch of the station’s own retail outlets.”

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Britain’s first high speed rail line, HS1, turns 10 years old

High Speed 1 (HS1) is celebrating its 10th birthday today with record passenger numbers and exceptional passenger satisfaction, unrivaled punctuality and a marked impact on Kent’s economy.

To mark the milestone HS1 Ltd, the company that owns and operates HS1, has published a report today by entitled ‘10 Businesses at 10 Years’, which can be viewed here. The report presents real life examples of how HS1 has helped 10 of the most exciting businesses in Kent to grow and prosper. An accompanying survey of leading Kent businesses showed that:

  • 91% of those asked said that their business has benefited from HS1

  • 89% said that HS1 has made Kent a more attractive place to set up a business

  • Over one third said that HS1 was a factor when choosing to set up their business in Kent

  • Over 80% said that HS1 had helped their business grow

  • 100% said that HS1 will play an important role in the future growth of Kent

Dyan Crowther, CEO of HS1 Ltd, said: “As the nation’s first and only high speed railway, HS1 has been a catalyst for growth, generating economic, cultural and social value in the regions it serves and the UK more widely.”

“We believe that high speed rail is essential to the nation’s future growth, improving connectivity and bringing people closer together than ever before. We are proud to be flying the flag for British high-speed rail and see HS1 as a model for the future.”

Passengers using HS1 have doubled since launch, with services carrying over 20 million domestic and international passengers in 2016 alone. With an unrivaled average delay per train of less than five seconds, and passenger satisfaction on the domestic service at 93%, HS1 has proven itself to be a world class high speed rail service.

Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of investment promotion agency Locate in Kent, said: “Since the launch of HS1 we have seen a substantial increase in the number of businesses wanting to invest and base themselves in Kent.”

“HS1 offers outstanding connectivity to London and Europe, making the county a highly desirable place to live, work and do business. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with HS1 as we help the Kent business community reach its full potential.”

For further information please contact Leonie Martin 020 3327 4050 or email

The survey results are based on responses from 33 leading companies in Kent.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

St Pancras International unveils its blooming festive 2017 Christmas tree

St Pancras International unveiled its spectacular 2017 Christmas tree today, delighting commuters, Londoners, and tourists alike with a hand-crafted 47ft floral sensation, created by the station’s very own luxury florist, Moyses Stevens.

Bringing a festive flourish to the station, the hotly anticipated tree is made from over 15,000 flowers and took 1,151 expert man hours to bring the unique design to life. 

The tree’s branches are interlaced with roses; hydrangeas; delicateanemones; amaryllis, orchids; and dianthus; whilst pretty petals and pine cones are strung around the tree in lieu of the traditional lights. The stunning creation will take pride of place on the station concourse from today until 3 January 2018.

Gemma Kavanagh, from Moyses Stevens florist comments: “The unveiling of the St Pancras International Christmas tree is eagerly awaited each year, so we were thrilled to be given the responsibility to create this year’s show-stopping spectacle. We pride ourselves on creating luxurious, detailed floral displays so we spent a great deal of time experimenting and planning to create a finished tree that will wow visitors to the station. We hope our creation will help fuel the trend for floral Christmas trees, inspiring even more people to enjoy having flowers in their home this winter.”

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 comments: “This year’s floral masterpiece from Moyses Stevens is the latest in a stunning line up of Christmas centrepieces at the station. In recent years, our Disney Junior, LEGO and Cirque du Soleil trees have all brought their own festive magic to St Pancras International, and this year’s much anticipated floral tree continues that legacy.”

Moyses Stevens and St Pancras International are also asking visitors to share their pictures of the stunning Christmas tree using #JingleBlooms. A social media competition perfect for budding florists, ten lucky winners will receive two tickets for the Moyses Stevens Flower School, Battersea Power Station - a prize worth £500*. Read T&Cs here.

Friday 10 November 2017

Wendy Spinks awarded an OBE

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director of HS1 Limited, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to transport.

Wendy joined HS1 Limited in 2010 from Heathrow Airport where she managed the retail offering for the newly launched Terminal 5. HS1 operate, manage and maintain the high-speed railway line connecting London to the Channel Tunnel as well as the stations along the route, including the Grade 1 listed St Pancras International, which welcomes over 48M customers each year. As HS1’s Commercial Director she has overseen St Pancras International’s growth into a destination in its own right, offerring an enticing alternative to traditional London shopping locations such as Oxford Street and large shopping malls. Wendy also manages the Retail and Car Park portfolio at the other stations along the route, leading a team that has consistently delivered high quality customer service and passenger satisfaction. This award follows Wendy’s recognitition in 2016 as one of the Top 20 Influential Women in Rail.

Wendy said: “It is a huge honour to be recognised for such a prestigious award and it is humbling to think l that I join a group of people who have given so much back to the nation. I have always been passionate about providing high quality service and an excellent passenger experience to our customers. Of course I have been lucky to have had the support, assistance and drive of a wonderful team of people behind me at HS1 and at Network Rail (High Speed) who are committed to delivering to the highest possible standards.”

Monday 30 October 2017

In Partnership for Britain's Prosperity - Rail companies working together to change railway

On October 30th, at St Pancras International a landmark event took place where train companies, Network Rail and their suppliers came together to launch a single plan for Britains railway. The aim is to work as one railway in partnership.

The plan called ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’ makes four commitments for change in the railway. These commitments include increasing jobs in rail, improving customer satisfaction, boosting local communities and to strengthen the railway’s contribution to the economy.

The event was run by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). The Chief Executive of RDG, Paul Plummer, said the event “is a landmark coming together. This plan, delivered by a changing partnership railway, will secure the economic benefits from current investment by the public and private sectors, and enable further improvement and investment.

“That’s why today, we are making four commitments for change to safeguard our economic contribution whilst delivering the best deal for taxpayers, to improve services for customers, better connect local communities and secure more jobs in rail. This plan will deliver the railway that the economy, customers and communities need as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.”

Wednesday 04 October 2017

Help us celebrate our 150th Birthday

St Pancras originally opened in 1868 and since then the station has been on an exciting journey!

In 2018, the station will turn 150 years old and in that time the station has gone through near demolition, decay and restoration. The fact the station is still here 150 years later is something we think we must celebrate!

Throughout 2018 we will hold a number of fantastic events in the run up to the big day (1st October 2018) and we would like the public's help in celebrating our history and past.

We are asking members of the public to send to us photos of St Pancras, from anytime throughout our 150 years. Whether you used to work in the station, or live in the local area and have seen the transformation of the station for yourself, we would love to see your photos!

Pictures that showcase the history of the station will be featured on the St Pancras website throughout 2018. Owners of the featured pictures will also get to enjoy an Afternoon Tea in the station in June 2018. Full T&Cs can be viewed here.

If you have any photos that you'd like to submit, please send them to along with a description of the photo (location of photo, approximate date, the story behind the photo).

We look forward to celebrating our monumental 150th birthday with you, and hope you will join in the festivities!

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Introducing the St Pancras line...

We are happy to introduce the new and exclusive St Pancras line... and we are not talking trains!

Indulge yourself and browse our new online gift shop to discover a range of exciting and exclusive gifts, prints, clothing and accessories. Our exclusive collections have products inspired by the colours and architecture found around the station.

Buy a well deserved treat for you, or a thoughtful gift for that special someone.

Visit the Online Shop by clicking here.

Friday 15 September 2017

HS1 adds £72 million to Kent economy in 2016 as leisure journeys increase nine-fold

  • Over half (54%) of tourism businesses in Kent believe that HS1 has specifically benefitted their own business

  • For every HS1 leisure journey made to Kent in 2016, £81 was added to Kent’s local economy

  • Almost 6,000 tourism sector jobs in Kent created and supported by HS1

  • The total economic contribution to Kent’s visitor economy since domestic HS1 services began estimated at over £311 million

The economic impact that High Speed 1 (HS1) has had on Kent’s tourism economy has been revealed for the first time in a new report. You can read the executive summary of the report here, and the full version here.

Independently produced by Visit Kent and tourism economists Destination Research Ltd. to mark the ten-year anniversary of the line, the report reveals the rapid growth in leisure journeys. Since 2010, leisure journeys to Kent via HS1 have increased almost nine-fold, from 100,000 in 2010 to 890,000 in 2016, and that the total economic impact of HS1 on the visitor economy in 2016 alone is valued at £72.7 million.

Total direct expenditure by visitors using HS1 during 2016 was approximately £56.5 million, with an additional indirect expenditure of approximately £16.9 million. For every HS1 leisure journey made to Kent in 2016, £81.65 was added to its local economy. Since 2010, HS1’s activity led to the creation and support of 5,766 tourism sector jobs in Kent. The total economic contribution to Kent’s visitor economy since domestic HS1 services began is estimated at over £311 million.

Almost three quarters (73%) of tourism businesses in Kent believe that leisure tourism in the county has increased as a result of HS1. Over half (54%) believe that HS1 has specifically benefitted their own business. 94% of these tourism businesses said that they had benefited because of HS1’s high speed connections, with 80% saying that HS1 has helped attract visitors from further afield.

Almost a third (30%) of tourists said they were influenced in their decision to visit Kent by the presence of the HS1 service. Almost half (47%) of all visitors to Kent who travelled by rail did so via the HS1 service.

Dyan Crowther, CEO of HS1 Ltd, the company that owns and operates HS1, said: “Growth in the number of passengers using the line is well-documented, but this report shines a light on the role HS1 is playing in supporting Kent’s tourism economy. While the line is more frequently used by commuters, it is clear that it has played a huge role in making Kent one of the most popular destinations in the country and Europe. HS1 is still a young line and what has been achieved to date has been done in a relatively short period of time and we are excited about its impact growing in the coming years.”

The findings demonstrate further the remarkable growth of Kent’s visitor economy, the value of which has increased by £1 billion since 2003. Kent’s visitor economy is now worth £3.6 billion, with the county welcoming more than 60 million visitors in 2015.

Jonathan Neame, Chairman of the Kent’s destination management organisation Visit Kent, said: “We were pleased to produce this report in partnership with HS1, and to be able to clearly show the direct value of leisure journeys on the wider economy. HS1 and the availability of high speed rail connections to London has played a huge role in our county’s growth, as our tourism businesses have said themselves. Many organisations continue to work together to create  a single strategy for tourism that helps stimulate ongoing investment in transport, accommodation and attractions so that Kent’s visitor economy continues to thrive.”

The research was conducted over a four-month period, using train path statistics as well as data gathered from tourists and Kent businesses, to understand the true impact of HS1 on the visitor economy.

For further information please contact Ben Winter at Pagefield on 020 3327 4075 or email

Thursday 07 September 2017

High Speed Rail Finance (1) PLC (“HSRF(1)”) Sale of Helix Holdings Limited

7 September, 2017 - London: Further to the announcement dated 14 July 2017, OMERS Administration Corporation and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board have today completed the sale of Helix Holdings Limited, the indirect holding company of HSRF(1), to a consortium comprised of HICL Infrastructure Company Limited (the listed infrastructure investment company, advised by InfraRed Capital Partners Limited), funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited and third party funds managed by InfraRed Capital Partners Limited.


For further information

HS1 Ltd +44 (0) 20 3327 4050

Ben Winter

InfraRed Capital Partners Limited +44 (0) 20 7484 1800

Harry Seekings

Keith Pickard

Tony Roper


Tulchan Communications +44 (0) 20 7353 4200

David Allchurch

Latika Shah


Canaccord Genuity Limited +44 (0) 20 7523 8000

David Yovichic

Friday 14 July 2017

Strategic review concludes with sale of High Speed 1

14 July, 2017 – London: Borealis Infrastructure (“Borealis”), the infrastructure investment manager of OMERS, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers’”) announce they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell High Speed 1 (“HS1”) to a consortium comprising funds advised and managed by InfraRed Capital Partners Limited (“InfraRed”) and Equitix Investment Management Limited (“Equitix”) (together, the “Consortium”).

As part of this transaction, InfraRed is advising third party funds including HICL Infrastructure Company Limited (“HICL”) and the National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea (“NPS”). The members of the Consortium will acquire interests in HS1 pro rata by reference to their respective shareholdings, with HICL and the Equitix funds acquiring 35% each, and the NPS funds managed by InfraRed acquiring the balance of 30%.

HS1 operates the 109km high-speed rail line connecting London St Pancras International station with the Channel Tunnel, under a 30-year concession agreement with the U.K. Secretary of State, signed in 2010. HS1 is responsible for the operations, maintenance, and renewal of the track and associated infrastructure, as well as the four stations served by the route: St Pancras International; Stratford International; Ebbsfleet International; and Ashford International. The rail line is predominantly a high-speed passenger railway, providing track access to domestic commuter services throughout Kent and international services to destinations in Europe such as Paris and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel. In 2016, HS1 handled over 75,000 train services and its principal customers, London and South Eastern Railway and Eurostar, carried over 20 million passengers.

The Consortium is committed to ensuring HS1 continues to serve all stakeholders well. Each of the Consortium members has a proven track record of owning and managing UK infrastructure businesses and collectively bring significant financial and operational expertise to HS1.

Jo Taylor, Senior Managing Director of Ontario Teachers, said: “HS1 has delivered significant economic benefits to the UK and has enabled the regeneration of a number of areas along the route. We are confident that HS1 will continue to prosper under its new ownership, while Ontario Teachers’ remain committed to the UK as an attractive destination for future investment. The Government’s approach to the concession agreement partnership with the international investment community reflects an excellent model for infrastructure opportunities moving forward.”

Ralph Berg, Executive Vice President & Global Head of Infrastructure, OMERS Private Markets, said: “We are proud of the successes that HS1 has achieved since our acquisition in 2010. The business has become a reference point for the quality and reliability of its service. We are confident that HS1 will continue to excel under its new ownership. We remain strongly committed to the UK and continue to see opportunities to invest in infrastructure assets — whether in the UK, or in other key markets.”

Ben Loomes, Managing Partner and Head of Infrastructure, InfraRed, said: “We are very pleased to be investing in HS1, a strategically important and core UK infrastructure asset. We look forward to working with the management team and our partners to further build on the success that the business has enjoyed to date and facilitate the continued delivery of a high-quality service for passengers.”

Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer, Equitix, said: “We are delighted to acquire the high quality UK PPP asset which is attractive to our underlying Limited Partners and we expect to remain invested in it for the full duration of the concession.”


For further information:

Charlie Harrison
M +44 7500 578 179

Liz Morley
M +44 772 2557


Latika Shah, Tulchan Communications
T +44 (0) 20 7353 4200
M 07950 671 948

Monday 10 July 2017

10 years of HS1: celebrating businesses along the line

HS1 Ltd is delighted to announce that, as part of a programme of activity to mark 10 years of HS1, we are launching a project to celebrate the close relationship between HS1 and businesses along the line. 

Since services began in 2007 the line has opened up a wealth of opportunities for businesses to operate and grow in the region, taking advantage of the rapid links to both Europe and London. We are now looking to talk to businesses in the region that have grown, expanded or benefited in some way because of their proximity to HS1. Working with the businesses, we will help tell the story of the organisations’ growth, making them up into a long-list of entries.

A panel, made up of HS1 Ltd CEO, Dyan Crowther, and a number of prominent business figures from Kent will then choose from the long-list the final top 10 businesses to be recognised for their successes and contribution to the region over the past 10 years. These 10 businesses will have the opportunity to be featured in HS1’s media campaign to celebrate the relationship between HS1 and businesses along the line.

Entries are still open and so if you are interested in participating or understanding more about this project, please contact us via  

Tuesday 10 January 2017

HS1 Ltd welcomes world's first China to UK freight service

HS1 Ltd welcomes the news that the world’s first China to Britain freight service has set off from Yiwu railway station, Zhejiang Province, China. The China Railway Corporation train will pass through seven countries, covering a 12,000 mile route via the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1 rail link to Barking, East London, making England’s capital the fifteenth European city to join what the Chinese government is calling the “New Silk Route”.

HS1 is committed to supporting the UK’s freight industry and welcomes this ambitious new route, which further links Chinese markets with the UK. We are delighted to see the benefits of the High Speed 1 line being showcased by this new venture.

Dyan Crowther, CEO of HS1 Ltd, said: “It is excellent to see the rail freight industry being showcased here with such an ambitious and exciting venture. We want to support the industry where we can, ensuring that freight continues to benefit to the full extent from high speed rail in the UK.”

Thursday 08 December 2016

Strategic review of HS1 to address inbound investment inquiries

Thursday 08 December, 2016 – London:  Borealis Infrastructure (“Borealis”), the infrastructure investment manager of OMERS, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers’”) announce that a strategic review of their ownership of HS1 Ltd (“HS1”) has been initiated. This is following a number of investment inquiries from third parties. A financial adviser will be appointed in due course. No specific timetable has been set for the review, and further updates will be made as required. The strategic review may conclude with no action.

In 2010 Borealis and Ontario Teachers’ jointly acquired the 30-year concession from the Secretary of State for Transport to operate and manage the HS1 network. The HS1 network comprises the 109-km high speed rail line connecting London to the Channel Tunnel, as well as the four international stations along the route (St Pancras, Stratford, Ebbsfleet, and Ashford). HS1 has successfully delivered a highly reliable railway to a growing number of passengers, achieved significant efficiency savings for customers and improved the passenger experience. St Pancras International station has been voted the UK’s number one railway station for the last six years in the Transport Focus National Passenger Survey.


For further information, please contact:

Liz Morley

Bell Pottinger

+44203 772 2557


Charlie Harrison

Bell Pottinger

+44203 772 2579


About HS1

HS1 Ltd has the 30 year concession to own and operate High Speed 1, the UK’s first section of high speed rail, as well as the stations along the route: St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International. In November 2010, the DfT and London & Continental Railways sold HS1 Ltd to a consortium of Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.


About OMERS Private Markets (“OPM”)

OMERS Private Markets (“OPM”) OPM (Borealis and OMERS Private Equity) invests globally in infrastructure and private equity assets on behalf of the OMERS pension plan. Investments are aimed at steady returns to help deliver strong and sustainable pensions to OMERS members. OPM's diversified portfolio of large-scale infrastructure assets exhibits stability and strong cash flows, in sectors including energy, transportation and government-regulated services. OPM has offices in Toronto, New York, London and Sydney. OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension funds with net assets of C$77 billion. For more information visit


About Ontario Teachers’

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers') is Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, with $171.4 billion in net assets at December 31, 2015.  It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annualized rate of return of 10.3% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 316,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

Friday 25 November 2016

HS1 welcomes the Deputy Mayor and London Assembly Transport Committee to St Pancras International

We were delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor and London Assembly Transport Committee to St Pancras International station on Wednesday 23rd November.

HS1 chairman, Rob Holden, and Commercial Director, Wendy Spinks, guided Caroline Pidgeon, Joanne McCartney and Florence Eshalomi through the station, where they discussed St Pancras’ rich heritage as one of the nation’s most iconic buildings. They also discussed HS1’s future plans to ensure that St Pancras International remains the UK’s favourite train station, as it looks forward to its 150th anniversary year in 2018.

Friday 14 October 2016

HS1 lead Singaporean National Development delegation around St Pancras International Station

On Tuesday the 11th of October, HS1 Executive Chairman Robert Holden, and John Shimmen, Masterplanning Project Manager, led Minister of National Development for Singapore Mr Lawrence Wong and a delegation of 30 senior government officials and senior business leaders on a site visit to St Pancras International station.
The delegation are visiting the UK to learn about and experience exemplary urban projects that are relevant to Singapore. As Europe’s gateway into London, St Pancras International Station is a relevant model for the upcoming High Speed Rail terminus in Singapore (to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
The shops occupy the undercroft, formerly a Victorian beer store, opening up the floor level above to bring in natural light and increase visibility. The design creates high-quality station retail, sensitively integrated within the historic building fabric. The original exposed brick arches to the vaults are retained inside the shops to create a timeless design.

Monday 26 September 2016

HS1 appoints Dyan Crowther as its new CEO

HS1 Ltd has appointed Dyan Crowther as its new Chief Executive.
She will join from Govia Thameslink, where she held the position of Chief Operating Officer and replaces Nicola Shaw, who left HS1 Ltd in May. It is anticipated that she will formally join the business in January 2017.
She comes with significant sector experience spanning 30 years and includes senior roles at Network Rail, British Rail and Railtrack.
Dyan Crowther commented: “I am delighted to be taking on this role. High Speed 1 is the UK’s only high speed line which has transformed rail travel through Kent and into the continent. Its growth and performance in the last 9 years are testament to its success and I look forward to leading the business and helping continue this success for customers and passengers alike.”
Rob Holden, Chairman and acting CEO of HS1 Ltd added: “As someone who joined the rail industry as a graduate, Dyan’s experience made her an extremely strong candidate. She has a strategic understanding of HS1 as a business and a vision to take it forward. We are looking forward to welcoming her here properly at the start of our tenth anniversary year.”

Thursday 07 July 2016

Our 2016 Terrace Wires art installation is officially unveiled

We are delighted to unveil our eagerly anticipated Terrace Wires public art installation, Thought of Train of Thought, by Royal Academician Ron Arad at St Pancras International.

The artpiece is the second instalment of our four-year partnership with the Royal Academy following Cornelia Parker RA’s One More Time in 2015. This year also marks the fourth year of Terrace Wires itself, our commissioning programme for new artwork by leading, international artists.

Suspended on wires from the station’s Grade 1 listed Barlow Shed roof, as if floating, Thought of Train of Thought is a monumental 18-metre-long twisted blade rotating slowly to create an optical illusion of wave-like movement. Minimal and monolithic, the hypnotic motion offers passengers and visitors to the station a moment of calm in the midst of their busy lives.

Fabricated by CIG Architecture based in Groningen in the Netherlands, Thought of Train of Thought can be viewed at St Pancras International station until January 2017.

Friday 01 July 2016

We’re FAB award winners!

We are very pleased to reveal that St Pancras International has won the category of Overall Food & Beverage Offer of the Year in a Railway Station at the Annual Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) Awards!

Last night, the travel food & beverage industry gathered in Geneva to celebrate the best and most innovative projects. The awards were presented at a glittering gala event held during the fifth annual Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report and The Foodie Report.

Recognising excellence on a global scale, the FAB Awards are a unique opportunity for airports, as well as other food & beverage operators, to put the spotlight on the very best that companies have to offer. 

The station’s unique British heritage has enticed some of the nation’s best loved brands under one stunning Barlow shed roof, including fine tea salon Fortnum & Mason and not forgetting Searcys, Europe’s longest champagne bar. St Pancras combines the best of European gastronomy, from Le Pain Quotidien to new Italian addition Barzetti, with Great British classics found at gastro-pub The Betjeman Arms as well as seasonal produce from local suppliers at Sourced Market.

Now not only are we extremely proud to have won the award, we are also very hungry!

Watch the video here…

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd appointed to board of National Grid

Nicola Shaw CBE, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, has been appointed to the role of Executive Director UK of National Grid, the international electricity and gas company.

Rob Holden CBE, Chairman of HS1, said: “Nicola has my warmest congratulations and I wish her every success in this new role. During her time at HS1, Nicola has proved to be a dedicated and inspiring leader, developing HS1’s position to become a central part of the UK’s transport infrastructure, respected for both  trusted delivery and continual innovation. She has worked closely with our customers to continue to grow their services while striking new and innovative partnerships, maintaining enviable safety and performance records and retaining the position of St Pancras International as the nation’s favourite station. The Board and I thank her for her work and extend to her our very best wishes for the future.”

Nicola is expected to take up her position at National Grid in the third quarter of 2016.

Monday 22 February 2016

HS1 Chief Executive Nicola Shaw receives CBE

HS1’s Chief Executive, Nicola Shaw, received a CBE from HRH The Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday, in recognition of her services to transport.

Commenting after the ceremony, Nicola Shaw said: “It was an absolute privilege to receive this honour today. Improving the ways in which people and communities are able to connect has always been a passion of mine, so I am particularly delighted and humbled to have my contribution to the industry recognised. I would like to give thanks to all those I have worked with over the years, especially the team and Board at HS1.”   

Nicola Shaw became Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd in 2011. Prior to this she was a Director of FirstGroup PLC. For the five years to 2010, she was Managing Director of the £1.3 billion revenue, 25,000 staff bus division in UK, Ireland and Germany. Before joining FirstGroup, Shaw had positions with the Strategic Rail Authority and Office of Rail Regulation as well as with Bechtel, Halcrow, the World Bank and London Transport. She is currently undertaking a review for the Government – commissioned jointly by the Chancellor and the Transport Secretary – into the future financing and structure of Network Rail, due to be submitted by the Budget 2016.

She was a Non-Executive Director of the Aer Lingus Group plc from 2010 to 2015 when it was sold to IAG and is a member of the Department for Transport’s Rail Franchise Advisory Panel. She is now a Non-Executive Director of Ellevio AB, a Swedish electricity distribution company and is on the audit committee of English Heritage. She also previously served as a Trustee of Transaid, an international UK development charity dedicated to reducing poverty across the developing world through better transport.

Nicola Shaw’s CBE was announced as part of the 2015 New Years’ Honours.

Thursday 31 December 2015

Nicola Shaw receives CBE in New Year’s Honours

Nicola Shaw, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to transport.


Nicola Shaw became Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd in 2011. The company operates, manages and maintains the high-speed railway line connecting London to the Channel Tunnel as well as the stations along the route. This includes St Pancras International, which welcomes over 48 million visitors a year and has been voted the nation’s favourite station in each year since it reopened in 2007. Shaw is currently working on a report for the Government – commissioned jointly by the Chancellor and the Transport Secretary – into the future financing and structure of Network Rail. Her recommendations are due to be submitted by the Budget 2016.


Commenting on her CBE, Nicola Shaw said: “I am both delighted and humbled to receive this honour. I have always been passionate about improving the ways in which people and communities connect, so it is a privilege to be able to work doing what you love and to have your contribution recognised. I see this honour as testimony to the quality of people I have worked with over the years and especially the team and Board at HS1, who have my great thanks.”


Shaw was educated at both Oxford University, where she studied for a bachelor’s degree in History and Economics, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she received a master’s in Transportation. She has worked at the World Bank where she was based in the US, an international theme that was continued when she took up a position at the engineering consultancy Halcrow applying her skills in Malaysia, the Philippines and Abu Dhabi, amongst others. Shaw moved to become a Director of FirstGroup PLC, after working for Bechtel and the Strategic Rail Authority. For the five years to 2010, she was Managing Director of the £1.3 billion revenue, 25,000 staff bus division in UK, Ireland and Germany.


She was a Non-Executive Director of the Aer Lingus Group plc from 2010 to 2015 when it was sold to IAG and is a member of the Department for Transport’s Rail Franchise Advisory Panel. She is now a Non-Executive Director of Ellevio AB, a Swedish electricity distribution company and is on the audit committee of English Heritage and with her husband, Andrew Lang, is a founding member of the Blue Plaques Club. She also previously served as a Trustee of Transaid, an international UK development charity dedicated to reducing poverty across the developing world through better transport.

Friday 09 October 2015

St Pancras International awarded ‘Station of the Year’ at National Transport Awards

HS1 Ltd is delighted to announce that St Pancras International has been awarded ‘Station of the Year’ at the National Transport Awards. The achievement is a fantastic recognition of all the work that goes into making sure that the station offers the best possible experience for our customers, and suitably accompanies eight consecutive years of being voted the ‘nation’s favourite station’ by the Transport Focus National Passenger Survey.

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director of HS1 Ltd said: “This is a magnificent achievement and a testament to all the effort that staff at St Pancras put into their work each day. I would like to thank our partners at Network Rail High Speed, the train companies that operate out of the station and all the station’s retailers, without whom we could not have achieved this success.”     

The National Transport Awards celebrates the achievements of those in the industry who are improving the experience for transport users and adding to the successful development of the UK’s transport infrastructure. The awards took place on 8th of October 2015.

Wednesday 05 August 2015

Operation Stack and Ebbsfleet International Station

Owing to ongoing disruptions at Calais, the Government has been looking at the option of using Ebbsfleet International Station to accommodate HGV drivers affected by Operation Stack. 

Ebbsfleet is not required at present, and therefore currently car parking at Ebbsfleet will continue to operate as normal for passengers of the high speed line. If you have any further enquiries, please speak to a member of station or car park staff at Ebbsfleet.

Wednesday 08 July 2015

Urban Partners launch Wellbeing Walk

HS1 Ltd, through its membership of Urban Partners – a partnership of business from across the King’s Cross/St Pancras area – was delighted to be a part of the launch of the Wellbeing Walk on Monday 6th July 2015. 

Urban Partners has launched the Wellbeing Walk, a new route that links HS1’s St Pancras International to another of London’s busiest railway stations, Euston, to provide pedestrians with a less polluted and congested journey between the two stations and to promote better access to the diverse and independent shops along the way. 

London’s first station-to-station Wellbeing Walk will go via Eversholt Street, Phoenix Road and Brill Place, encouraging pedestrians to avoid the significant pollution that has been registered along the Euston Road. Air quality monitoring has shown Urban Partners’ alternative journey exposes pedestrians to up to 65 per cent less pollution, as well as showcasing a host of local businesses. 

HS1 Ltd and Urban Partners are working with both businesses and residents along the route to encourage improvements to the environment and ensure the best possible experience for pedestrians. 

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director of HS1 Ltd said: 

“The is just one of the innovative initiatives being led by HS1 Ltd and Urban Partners to support both the local community and businesses that help make the area around St Pancras International such a fantastic place to live, work and visit.”

Thursday 15 January 2015

HS1 CEO wins award for contribution to keeping London working

HS1 congratulates its CEO, Nicola Shaw, for being chosen for the London First Chairman’s Award at the 2015 London Awards ceremony last night.


In their third year, the London Awards aim to mark key individuals, activities and projects that have contributed to making London the best city in the world in which to work and play. The Chairman’s Award is an accolade that was created to recognise and celebrate an individual that has made a special contribution to making London the best city in the world to do business.


Announcing the award at the ceremony, London First CEO Baroness Jo Valentine highlighted the contribution that Nicola has made to “improving public transport in the UK” throughout her career, described HS1 as “one of the major international routes into the capital” and praised St Pancras for “providing that important first impression for visitors to London arriving from the continent”.


Nicola Shaw said: “It was a wonderful surprise to receive the Chairman’s award. London has an enviable reputation as one of the best connected cities in the world, and its transport infrastructure is of course crucial to this; my teams and I are delighted to play our part, constantly working to improving the quality of experience for passengers on our line and visitors at St Pancras, and helping to keep London working”.


Image: London First

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.

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.


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.