HS1 delivers cost savings and performance improvements amidst economic challenges

Posted: 17 June 2024 | | No comments yet

HS1’s annual review highlights significant cost reductions and performance improvements, with average train delays reduced to 11.8 seconds, despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, energy market volatility and high inflation.

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Credit: HS1

HS1 has announced that it has achieved significant cost reductions and performance enhancements despite facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, volatile energy markets and high inflation, according to its latest annual review.

HS1, responsible for the railway between St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, has leveraged innovative technologies and strengthened partnerships to realise multi-million pound savings and minimise train delays, as detailed in the report.

Key achievements in 2023-2024:

  • Energy savings: Introduction of new energy-saving schemes led to £1.1 million in annual electricity savings, supplementing the £2.6 million saved in 2023 through regenerative braking technology
  • Safety performance: HS1 maintained strong safety records, with the Fatalities and Weighted Injuries (FWI) measure surpassing agreed thresholds for both workforce and public safety
  • Renewals progress: Route renewals were delivered ahead of schedule, particularly during the Christmas 2023 blockade, optimising periods impacted by industrial action.

The annual review highlights HS1’s operational efficiency, with average train delays counted in seconds rather than minutes, achieving an average delay of just 11.8 seconds. These operational improvements have been critical in reducing costs, which benefits train operators and potentially passengers through lower ticket prices.

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While external factors are expected to increase HS1’s business costs over the next five years, the anticipated rise in the number of operators on the line is projected to offset individual charges. This growth strategy aligns with HS1’s commitment to enhancing rail travel efficiency and affordability.

Richard Thorp, Director of Engineering at HS1, said: “[The] report demonstrates that the HS1 line is reliable, efficient, and well-managed. We have collectively driven down costs and managed the high-speed line effectively for our customers despite financial pressures and an ongoing energy crisis.”

Thorp also highlighted HS1’s rapid response to an unprecedented flooding event in the Thames Tunnel in December 2023, where swift action led to a full service resumption within 24 hours despite significant operational challenges.

To cater to the increasing demand for green international rail travel, HS1 is planning enhancements and upgrades to St Pancras International. These developments aim to ensure that the growing number of passengers will continue to enjoy a seamless and efficient experience at this historic Grade 1 listed station.

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