Network Rail sets out £47bn five-year plan

Ceria Alfonso
Febrero 15, 2018

The Control Period 6 spending plan, published today will see Network Rail deliver its largest ever spend of £47bn.

The Office of Rail and Road (OPR) will review the plan and make a final determination of Network Rail's funding needs in the Autumn.

Mark Carne, the chief executive of National Rail, said: "This way of allocating capital is a much healthier way than it was [for 2014-19]: you've got £15bn and a long shopping list of stuff, which was really very immature".

Becky Lumlock, route managing director for Network Rail's Wessex route, said: 'This ambitious plan will help us deliver a more reliable service for the millions of people who travel on the route every day, from Waterloo to Portsmouth, and beyond.

In addition to the extra funds to be set aside for improvement works, the government has committed to a further £10 billion railway enhancement fund. The plan anticipates a 15% reduction in the number of delayed trains.

Planned expenditure of up to £47 billion over the five year period, with a significant uplift (25%) earmarked for day-to-day improvements recognising the huge increase in the numbers of services and the extra wear and tear expected on the railway's infrastructure as a result. A new digital signalling system will begin to replace the current one, which Network Rail claims can allow more services to run more safely and at a lower cost.

NETWORK Rail has unveiled its multi-billion pound plan to improve the railway route covering Portsmouth.

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The strategy includes £10bn for "enhancements" or rail upgrades, most of which will be projects deferred from the 2014-19 plan.

More than 510 million journeys a year are taken on South-East route - far more than any other part of the network and around a third of the United Kingdom total - and that number is set to rise by a further 11% over the next five years with the new high-frequency Thameslink timetable delivering up to 24 trains per hour through central London and continued growth in jobs and housing in the South-East.

Other projects may need funding also and so plans are being developed to identify new sources of funding that do not rely on the taxpayer.

In terms of specific targets, Network Rail is aiming to reduce the general risk of accidents to passengers by 10% over this period by implementing new digital safety technologies.

Network Rail's hard-won passenger safety record means it already runs the safest major railway in Europe.

Mr Carne concluded: 'Britain's railways have seen a revival over the past decade or so and we have been working flat-out over the last five years to build new stations and new infrastructure to enable thousands of more services to come on stream to soak up that demand.

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