Network Rail publishes £38bn investment plan

Network Rail is preparing to begin its new five-year funding period – a £38 billion investment programme for the continued operation and improvement of Britain’s railways.

Britain’s infrastructure manager has outlined its targets for Control Period 5 (CP5); these include creating the extra capacity for 170,000 additional peak time commuter seats and electrifying more than 850 miles of railway.

Over the course of the next five years, Network Rail plans to renew 7,000 kilometres of track, replace 300,000m2 of platforms and invest in new technologies, such as the ETCS overlay on the Great Western main line.

The investment is designed to meet a growing demand for rail services. Over the next decade that demand is to increase by a further 30 per cent, according to Network Rail.

The five-year plan includes the ambitious target of reducing the cost of running Britain’s railway by 20 per cent.

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Millions of passengers and freight users will benefit enormously from the plans we set out today to wisely spend and invest £38 billion in transforming some of the busiest parts of our railway network.

“Dawlish has shown us at our best when we work in a planned, disciplined and innovative way. Our aim is to emulate that approach and embed it in our organisation so that we are continuously improving the service for our customers.

“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.

“Britain’s railways are a vital part of our national infrastructure. They connect homes and workplaces, businesses with markets, they create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.

“We are good at delivering projects both great and small and at providing a safe and reliable railway but want to do even more for the people that rely on our railway network. 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.

“We all want an improving, safer, successful and better value railway for everyone, and that is what we will do.”