Branson favourite for new Channel Tunnel service


THE British entrepreneur, Mr Richard Branson, is a front runner to take over rail services through the Channel tunnel according to British media reports.

Yesterday's Sunday Times, said Mr Branson, head of the Virgin group of companies, was part of a consortium involved in talks with the British government about taking over the Eurostar trains later this year.

"A three billion pound deal being negotiated by the consortium, London & Continental Railways, would entitle it to a 999 year licence to operate trains through the tunnel," the newspaper said.

The consortium, which also includes the National Express bus company, the US construction group Bechtel, and the investment bank SBC Warburg, would build a 68 mile (110 kilometre) high speed line between London and Dover on Britain's southeast coast.