Network Rail makes first profit

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Network Rail, which runs Britain's railway tracks and signals, is expected to announce it has made a profit for the first time in its history.
Financial results for the six months to September show a profit of £747m, which the not-for-profit firm is to spend on improving the rail network.

This comes after the company cut costs by more than £1bn and the beginning of delayed payments from the government.

In May, Network Rail announced a pre-tax loss of £232m for 2005-6.

Network Rail Chairman Ian McAllister said improved train safety and punctuality had turned Britain's railways into a success, but that new and greater challenges lay ahead.

With more passengers, Network Rail had to find ways of easing overcrowding and boosting the capacity of the rail system, he said.

The company said last year's losses were largely down to paying interest on money it had borrowed to fix the railway network.

Network Rail replaced private firm Railtrack in 2002.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6186552.stm
 
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