Network Rail Unleashes Giant Spending Programme

31 March 2009 (Last Updated March 31st, 2009 18:30)

Network Rail has today embarked on a £35bn spending programme to improve the UK railways. The five-year CP4 delivery plan includes over 500 projects and is set to cause a series of disruptions for UK rail passengers particularly in the up-coming Easter holiday period. Networ

Network Rail has today embarked on a £35bn spending programme to improve the UK railways.

The five-year CP4 delivery plan includes over 500 projects and is set to cause a series of disruptions for UK rail passengers particularly in the up-coming Easter holiday period.

Network Rail hopes to build capacity for freight and passengers by lengthening platforms, building faster trains and increasing the number of seats available.

Out of the total £35bn, more than £12bn will be directed to building lengthier platforms to ease overcrowding and £11.5bn will be used to replace older parts of the network. The remainder is allocated for day-to-day maintenance.

Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher has hailed this as the beginning of a 'rail revolution' in the UK.

"Network Rail is ready to unleash the biggest expansion of Britain's railways since the age of Brunel," he said.

In addition, it has pledged punctuality levels of above 92% for both England and Scotland.

By Natalie Coomber.