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• The Freight Transport Association will question the firm behind

7th March 1996, Page 12
7th March 1996
Page 12
Page 12, 7th March 1996 — • The Freight Transport Association will question the firm behind
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the purchase of British Rail's bulk freight businesses about safety, following allegations that Wisconsin Central has an accident record three times worse than the US average.

FTA executive director of transport policy James Hookham and Railfreight council member David Matthews of Allied Steel & Wire will also discuss issues surrounding backer Transportation's aim to raise traffic volumes.

FIA's rail freight policy manager Sarah Crockford says: We need to know if Wisconsin is going for maximum profit or for a long-term growth in rail traffic volumes."

Wisconsin has denied it has a bad safety record, claiming the statistics have been misinterpreted.

The Rail Regulator is also expected to begin talks this week with the direct purchaser, Wisconsin-headed consortium North and South Railways.

Wisconsin's intentions following last weekend's .12225m takeover of Mainline, Transrail and Loadhaul will be investigated by the regulator, who fears that a monopoly owner could hold rail freight customers to financial ransom.

Regulator, John Swift, last week said he could seek additional regulatory safeguards if Wisconsin fails to convince him it will not exploit its position of sole owner of the three businesses. Swift has made it known he wants to know "how freight users and their interests can be protected" after the sale.

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