London & Continental, the company that built the high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link may be heading for a multibillion-pound privatisation next year. The Times.

Chancellor Alistair Darling and Transport Secretray Ruth Kelly are expected to decide early next year on what to do two years after the Government shelved a quick sale that became mired in accusations of cronyism.

London & Continental Railways disclosed yesterday that a decision on its future would be taken soon after the long-awaited £5.7bn high-speed line opens for business on November 14. Rob Holden, chief executive of LCR, said: “After November 14, the restructuring will be our No 1 priority. Probably in the first quarter of 2008, the Secretary of State and the Chancellor will make some decisions.”

The likely plan is that the company will be broken up into three parts: the railway lines, which would make money by charging Eurostar trains and local services to Kent; a share of Eurostar, the train operator; and land around King’s Cross and Stratford.