UK rail operator Network Rail has announced a 30-year plan to improve rail networks in the Great Western region by adding new trains, providing better connectivity and achieving shorter journey times.
The plan, part of Network Rail’s Route Utilisation Strategy, is aimed at meeting passenger demand in the region. It is expected to increase the number of long-distance journeys into London Paddington by 51% by 2019.
The city of Bristol is expected to experience the biggest growth of 41% in peak rail demand among urban centres. This equates to a growth rate of 3.2% per year.
The plan includes adding more carriages on trains between Gloucester and Westbury to reduce congestion, re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble Line, building an additional platform at Westbury station, and adding new vehicles between Cardiff and Portsmouth, among other developments.
Installing the new European Rail Traffic Management System is also included in the plan, to boost reliability and capacity.
The plan is expected to benefit passengers from across the south west of England, Devon, Cornwall, the Thames Valley, Midlands and further into the north.