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Channel Tunnel Rail Link (Supplementary Provisions) Act 2008

Summary and Background

4.The Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996 ("the 1996 Act") provided for a new high speed railway between the mouth of the Channel Tunnel and London St Pancras station. The concession to construct and operate the railway was awarded to London and Continental Railways Limited ("LCR") in a package of agreements entered into in February 1996, the principal one being the CTRL Development Agreement of 28 February 1996 between LCR and the Secretary of State for Transport.

5.The new railway, High Speed 1, formerly known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link ("the CTRL"), is now complete and is designed for use by both international and domestic train operators. International passenger services from St. Pancras began on 14 November 2007, while high-speed domestic services to and from North and East Kent are due to start in 2009.

6.The main provisions within the Act:

  • confirm that the Secretary of State is empowered to fund the CTRL and the trains that run on it post construction;

  • amend the exclusion in the 1996 Act from regulation under the Railways Act 1993 ("the 1993 Act") for access agreements in relation to CTRL infrastructure;

  • repeal certain duties of the Office of Rail Regulation ("the ORR") under the 1996 Act in relation to the CTRL;

  • allow the ORR to charge a fee for the exercise of its regulatory functions in relation to the CTRL;

  • amend the definition of development agreement in the 1996 Act to include the word ‘operation’.

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