The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has announced plans to charge train operators £26m annually for use of the High Speed 1 (HS1) track in order to help maintain the rail assets.

ORR expects future costs to increase as the HS1 gets older.

The £26m per annum charge is said to be £9m less than the proposed figure by HS1, which operates 67 miles of high-speed track that connects London with the Channel Tunnel.

ORR expects the lower costs to ensure a lower rise in operator charges.

The draft determination will be open to public consultation until 11 November. The bill’s final determination for the next five years will be unveiled in January.

ORR stated that it accepted most of HS1’s proposals while making recommendations about asset management.

The recommendations include reviewing its approach to asset life, looking for efficiencies in its supply chain and enhancing its approach to research and development.

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ORR CEO John Larkinson said: “High Speed 1 is a valuable public asset and our role is to provide independent assurance that High Speed 1’s assets can be kept in good condition over the long term at the lowest possible cost.

“This is important to make sure that operators and, in turn, passengers and freight users get a good deal now but not at the expense of future generations. We now invite views of stakeholders before announcing our Final Determination in January next year.”

Last year, telent Technology received the HS1 SCSR contract to overhaul the network infrastructure of High Speed 1 (HS1) stations across St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ashford and Ebbsfleet in the UK.