TRAIN company GNER was last night awaiting news of a £100m claim against Network Rail for disruption to services caused by the Hatfield rail crash.

The East Coast Mainline operator has been given the go-ahead by rail regulator Tom Winsor to make its case for compensation following the crash in October 2000.

GNER was said to have lost tens of millions of pounds in ticket sales after track repairs and speed restrictions in the wake of Hatfield caused it to cut its mainline services.

But unlike other high speed train operators who were similarly affected the company never agreed a compensation package with the former Railtrack.

Mr Winsor is now acting as an arbitrator in the claim for which Railtrack successor Network Rail has taken over responsibility.

GNER spokesman Andy Naylor said: "Our claim is that there was a deterioration of the network which affected our ability to perform reliably.

"We hope to resolve this as soon as possible."

Mr Winsor's judgement in the claim, which is due to be published later this month, will be binding on Network Rail.