Rail investment of £38Bn revealed


An operative carrying out electrification work. Photo courtesy of Network Rail.

Network Rail has unveiled a five year £38Bn investment programme to build new tracks, relieve bottlenecks, increase capacity and upgrade outdated stations.

Control Period 5 (2014-19) will see £13Bn spent on capital expenditure projects targeting the busiest parts of Britain’s rail network.

Network Rail says it will transform hundreds of stations around the country, including London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street. The company said station redevelopment will bring investment and construction jobs into the cities and generate further income to be invested back into the railway network.

Also included in the plan is electrification of more than 850 miles of railway including the Great Western Main Line from Maidenhead to Swansea, the Midland Main Line from Sheffield to Bedford and across the north and north west of England. Other investments will include £12Bn on renewing over 4,350 miles of track, replacing 300,000m² of station platforms and improving train punctuality to 92.5% across the country.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “This investment responds to the growth and demands being placed upon us by delivering bigger, better stations, more trains and seats, reopened railway lines and fewer level crossings.”

Mr Carne added: “Passenger, public and workforce safety will be at the core of our plans. Good safety performance and good train and business performance go hand in hand and in both we must strive for and deliver continuous improvement day by day.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government's long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure. That is why we are putting record amounts of government funding into our railways over the next five years.

“Our investment will generate growth, create jobs and boost business while delivering faster journeys,” he added.