Eurotunnel On The Block?

London & Continental Railways, which built the fast link for Eurostar trains between St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, may be sold by the Government.

A report has suggested that Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, will say whether the privatisation will take place in the first quarter of next year.

The St Pancras project, which cost Gbp5.7bn (US$11.7bn) opens on November 14. After that chief executive Rob Holden said that “the restructuring will be our No 1 priority”.

He added that the Chancellor, together with Ruth Kelly, transport secretary, “will make some decisions, probably in the first quarter of 2008”.

One idea is that the company will be split into three bits: the railway link; a share of Eurostar; and property around the terminal in London.

The company owes the Treasury over Gbp6bn. Infrastructure funds, such as Macquarie, are thought to be the most likely bidders.