Share indices in the week to 12 October 2001
The kerfuffle over the PFI won't go away – much to the chagrin of those contractors who've based their business strategies on expanding in the sector (that is, almost all of the big players).

Just as they thought they had seen off the unions over the treatment of public sector workers transferred to private companies, the spectacular derailment of Railtrack (aka Backtrack) has raised fresh concerns.

Bankers are getting nervous about pumping funds into the deals with the state after the DTLR showed them just how unceremoniously it could ditch a large private company entirely dependent on public money for its living.

But the government is committed to the PFI and has a lot riding on its success – for example, re-election. Even prime minister Tony Blair took a break from ridding the world of terrorism to hammer home the point this week.

This means that Railtrack's demise is unlikely to seriously affect the future of the PFI. But it is a hassle that the likes of Carillion, Jarvis and Balfour Beatty could do without.

One company spokesperson lamented: "We just see off the unions and then Railtrack blindsides us. It's annoying but PFI has been shown to work and we're confident it will."